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Old 04-19-2010, 06:33 AM   #1
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Cloth reference HELP!

I am in a college class where I am required to write an argumentative research paper this term. I want to write about cloth diapering, but my Professor is adamant that we cannot use all online sources. So can anyone help me out by recommending actual print books and articles on the pros and cons of cloth diapering? I will be going to the library tonight, but I need help in finding the appropriate materials.

If it helps here is my tentative thesis: Cloth should be the preferred method of diapering an infant or toddler as they are better for the environment, cost less in the long run and are just as easy to use as disposables.

Any help in finding books that would help me research my topic would be much appreciated.

Also, I asked about doing an online questionnaire/survey, and my Professor's response was as follows: In terms of a questionnaire, you need to make certain that your questionnaire gets a good cross section of American society. So, you need to have at least a 1,000 people respond. At the same time, your respondents should come from the West Coast, the East Coast, the South, and the Midwest. In addition, your questionnaire should have respondents from various ethnicities/cultures and from various socio-economic groups. This is the only way to get a truly scientific, unbiased perspective of American society on this particular topic. Otherwise, you end up with a biased, unscientific study whose results are already being pre-determined/manipulated from the very get-go.

I know there are many members here, but would it be possible to do a questionnaire here and get the requirements?

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Old 04-19-2010, 08:04 AM   #2
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Re: Cloth reference HELP!

I did a quick search for you (I used to be a librarian).

Here are some print options (some will just have a snippet about diapering):

Diaper Changes : The Complete Diapering Book and Resource Guide
Green Babies, Sage Moms : The Ultimate Guide to Raising Your Organic Baby
Permission to Mother: Going Beyond the Standard-of-Care to Nurture Our Children
Dr. Spock's Baby Basics : Take Charge Parenting Guides
Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality

I am not sure how you will get your hands on some of the titles - they may or may not be found at your local libraries. There is also a little bit of information out their in print about Elimination Communication, which you might find useful.

How many print sources do you need? What is the required length of your paper? I would also suggest going to the local library and searching for articles (I do not have access to journal databases from my home). I assume you need reference material for both sides. I think you might run into issues finding print material on disposables as well at cloth. It just does not seem to be a whole lot out there.

I am not sure if you would be able to meet the requirements for a questionnaire. How would your professor feel about you interviewing a knowledgeable person (i.e. expert - an owner of a store that teaches cloth diapering classes)? If that would work, we could give you a list of stores to contact.

I wish you luck. I know how frustrating it can be when you want to research something for a class and you run into lots of limitations...

Last edited by sjmj; 04-19-2010 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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Re: Cloth reference HELP!

I have a book called "Organic Housekeeping" by Ellen Sandbeck and it discusses cloth diapers on pages 208-11.

In your online research I'm sure you will find references to books and studies so that will be helpful in finding those resources.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:35 AM   #4
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Re: Cloth reference HELP!

If you are in a hurry and need sources from your own library (i.e. no time for interlibrary loan), you should definitely ask for help at your library's reference desk. I work at a library information/reference desk, and I promise that we're always happy to help people.

Also, FYI, some professors limit the number of online sources you can use because they want you to use reputable scholarly sources and not just random stuff you find by Googling. They don't necessarily mean that you can't use articles that you find through your library's online databases, which in many cases are articles also published in print that your library just happens to get in electronic format. Other professors are even stricter in their limits because they want you to take your body to the library and get stuff off of shelves the old-fashioned way. Ask your professor to clarify what s/he means if necessary.

If you are allowed to use articles you find through your library's databases, you should be able to find some scholarly articles in addition to the information you find in popular parenting books, etc.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:53 AM   #5
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Re: Cloth reference HELP!

Yes, I would second the print articles.

http://www.mothering.com/green-livin...-cloth-diapers

http://mothering.com/green-living/du...osable-diapers (issue 147)
http://mothering.com/green-living/di...nked-to-asthma references A study published in the October, 1999 issue of the Archives of Environmental Health
Issue 116, January - February 2003 The Politics of Cloth Diapers - this is a great article with a timeline of diapers both cloth and disposable


Check out the RDA site http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/ Here is a list of printable resources they have http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/advocacy.php

Hope that helps you get started at least!
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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Re: Cloth reference HELP!

Thank you all so much. I have the whole 12 week term to complete the paper, with of course progress reports along the way, so most likely inter-library loans will work. That is a good question about online copies of print articles, I will ask the professor. Also, the idea of interviewing an expert is a great idea, I will run it by him too.
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