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DEAF 200: Introduction to Deaf Studies

What IS a Good Topic?

Choosing a good topic is a balancing act. Not too narrow. Not too broad. How can you tell if you're on the right path? 

As a general guideline, topics with 2 - 3 concepts are workable:

  • How has the representation of deafness and Deaf culture changed in television and movies in the past twenty to twenty-five years?

Only one concept is too broad:

  • deaf culture
  • American sign language

More than three concepts is usually too narrow:

  • Cochlear implants in infants and their effect on acquisition of sign language in California

The above guidelines are based on information from Walden University Library. A brief exercise in choosing the best research question is available from SUNY Empire State College.  



Picking Your Topic Is Research

This video is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license. (License, credits, and contact information)

What Are Scholarly Sources?

The Scholarly Sources section of the Research Strategies LibGuide gives details about how to find and read scholarly books and articles.

Navigating the Library Website


Watch this video to learn how to navigate OneSearch to find materials available through the University Library.



  OneSearch Search tips 

  • Searches books, articles, videos, DVDs, images and more in University Library       
  • Good place to begin research       
  • Good for interdiscliplinary topics

Filter Results in OneSearch

Save Items in OneSearch

Don't lose track of relevant articles or books. Use Pin It feature in OneSearch -- make sure to log in with your CSUN user id and password (same as portal or Canvas). Items you pin will remain attached to your account and appear every time you log in.

APA Style

In-Text Citations

"In-text citation" means that you refer to (or cite) the ideas or words of another as soon as you write about them in your paper. There are several ways to do this: using quotation marks for exact words, summarizing or condensing without changing the meaning, and paraphrasing or using your own words.

Here are specific examples of ways to handle in-text citation in APA format.

APA In-Text Citation Basics (Purdue OWL)

APA In-Text Citations Specific Examples (Purdue OWL)


SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia

From publisher's website: "This in-depth encyclopedic collection of articles defines the current state of Deaf Studies at an international level. This new encyclopedia shifts away from the 'Medical/Pathological Model', and instead has the focus on deaf people as members of a distinct cultural group with a distinct and vibrant community and way of being."

Country/Geographic Area Search Tip: Click on Reader's Guide tab to get overviews of the Deaf Community in various parts of the world.


Library Databases

When you want resources about a specific subject area or in a specific format (such as newspaper articles or data sets)

Use Library Databases

Best Databases for Deaf Studies Topics

University Library Databases -- listed by subject, type and name


Database Tips

Database (examples: ERIC, JSTOR, Project Muse)

  • Searches articles, book chapters, reports, newsletters only in that database
  • Good for in-depth scholarly works on narrow topics
  • Use Advanced Search Option to separate and clarify search terms & keywords
  • Limit by publication date, resource type (for example, peer reviewed/scholarly) and more. Specific limiters available in some databases (examples below from EBSCO)

  • Sign up for database account to keep records permanently available (example below from EBSCO)




Deaf Studies LibGuide -- More Detailed Search Tips

More in-depth info about defining a research topic, using databases, and more resources for all Deaf Studies classes and projects is in the Deaf Studies LibGuide.

Need More Help?

Contact Me

The best way to contact me is by my email ( A link is in my profile box to the left. 

24/7 Support

Also, please remember we have 24/7 support via the Ask a Librarian services found on this page of the library website.


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