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GERO 300: Introduction to gerontology (online)

For further assistance with your assignment, you can contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian for Gerontology at 778.782.5043 (inaccessible due to library closure) or , Monday to Thursday . For quick research help, please Ask a Librarian


NOTE : This page is for the Canvas, distance version of GERO 300

Course description

"Examination of the aging process from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Physical and health factors in aging, economic and vocational factors in aging, family and community relations of older people, social policy and politics of aging. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on normal aging." [Note: for more information see the  GERO 300 Distance Course Outline and page in Canvas. If there are discrepancies between  information listed on this page and that in Canvas or instructor handouts, please refer to the latter.]

Term paper research resources

Start Your Research Here  SFU guide to researching and writing a term paper

    Background information (or: Better than Wikipedia!)

    Reference works such as encyclopedias are a great place to start to get an overview of a topic.  Entries are written by experts in the field, and often there is a useful bibliography. Click on the "online" link and then sign in to access these titles:

    The Encyclopedia of Gerontology [online
    Entries on most paper topics, such as:  Caregiving and Caring; Frail Elderly;  Abuse and Neglect of Elders; Living Arrangements; Aging in Place;  Exercise;  Slowing of Aging, for longevity, with related topics

    Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology (online)
    Entries such as: "Literature and ageing"; "Ageing in Film"; "Representations of ageing in the media"
    In addition, Chapter 32 covers  Loneliness and isolation

    Handbook of aging and the social sciences (online)
    See: Chapter 7 - Immigration, Aging, and the Life Course; Chapter 15 -Aging, Neighborhoods, and the Built Environment; Chapter 16 - Abusive Relationships in Late Life; Chapter 18  - End-of-Life Planning and Health Care

    Encyclopedia of Ageism (online)
    Entry: "Children's literature" (See also this useful ERIC article on children' literature) .  Other entries "Hollywood", "Advertising", etc.

    See also: Persona project resources for more useful publications

    Finding journal articles

    Quick tip:  To determine which articles are empirical studies when you are in a database, look under the Subjects listed for each article, such as Qualitative Research, Statistical Analysis, etc.

    Journal articles in the indexes listed below are generally scholarly; if you do need to determine whether a journal is peer-reviewed  see the FAQ What is a peer-reviewed journal? or go straight to Ulrich's to see whether a journal is peer-reviewed (or refereed)

    Moving from Citation to Article SFU guide on how to find the article once you've searched an index

    Databases for finding journal articles

    Ageline Major social-gerontology database -- start here for most paper topics.  
    For search tips see the guide An Introduction to the Ageline database  

    Sample search terms and combined searches: Dementia AND (Human Factors Engineering OR Home Modification) ; Exercise AND Quality of Life; Aging in Place; Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities; Assisted Living Facilities

    CINAHL Complete The major nursing and allied health database for readable articles on medical topics.
    Sample keyword search: "successful aging".  Sample subject term: Frail Elderly. Can Limit results by age group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older)

    PsycINFO The major psychology database.   See their Quick Reference Guide
    Sample Subject term: Reminiscence.  Limit results by age group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older) .

    Education Source For the topic of portrayal of older people in children's literature, start with databases and use a  combined search such as: Old age in literature and child*

    MLA bibliography  For the topic of portrayal of older people in the media, start with databases and use a search such as: (elderly or aging or old age) AND  (film or television)

    Academic Search Premier a nice, general database for finding articles, not gerontology based.  Start with Subject term: Older People and then narrow down for your topic

    See also Databases in Gerontology for other useful indexes on gerontological topics


    Research tip: Looking though one scholarly monograph is much faster than reading several journal articles. 

    • Aging and Society: Canadian perspectives [print]
    • Aging as a social process: Canadian perspectives [print]
    • Aging in contemporary Canada [print]    
    • Aging: Concepts and controversies [print]
    • Grandparents : Archetypal and clinical perspectives on grandparent-grandchild relationships [online] Chapter 3  "Images of age in narratives"
    • Designing homes for people with dementia [print]

    To find books, search SFU Catalogue
    Search tips in SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide

    Sample Catalogue subject headings

    Specific research topics

    Age-friendly cities  see: Aging and the City topic page

    Death and dying see: GERO 406 Term paper resources for end of life issues

    For more information see:  Further Gerontology resources 

    Term paper writing links and help

    How to do an outline

    Developing an outline OWL Purdue University
    Outline components, how to outline, and types of outlines

    Outlining UMKC Writing Studio

    If you've already written your paper (!) you can use Reverse Outlining Duke University

    Literature review

      Literature Review Outline: What You Need to Get Started

      Guidelines for writing a literature review
      Step-by-step guide to writing a literature review

      The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It
      List of questions that will prompt you to create critical literature reviews

      Literature Review Template
      Template for creating an "objective, critical summary of published research literature"

      Literature Reviews
      UNC guide that provides instructions and strategies, including ways to organize 

      Writing a short literature review
      CUNY example of a successful literature review

      Writing help

       Student learning Commons  -- SFU service that "provides learning and writing support services" such as:

        Persona project resources

        Start with:

        Report on Health and Aging in Canada (2018) Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) 
        Covers retirement, social engagement, caregiving, health,  LGBTQ (CLSA uses term "LGB"), and more

        Fact book on Aging in B.C. and Canada (7th Edition, 2019)
        Statistical overview, published by the Gerontology Research Centre at SFU

        Seniors and Aging Statistics Canada
        Health, housing and income, and many more topics


        Care Guide
        "Canada's most comprehensive guide to seniors' housing and care services"
        Includes descriptions of housing types (section Residence options), support for aging in place (under section Staying at Home)

        BC Housing
        Website for provincial organization that "develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across the province"; see page for Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI)

        Canadian Housing and Mortgage Authority (CMHC)
        "Canada’s authority on housing"; see section Aging in Place 

        How to participate online