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SPC 1608 - Stein (Dale Mabry): As you find sources

Links and tips for your library research.

Stay organized.

Tools in library's search engines—the catalog and databases—can help.

  Save your results

  • Notice links to save results, capture permalinks, or email them to yourself.
  • If you email:
    • You may be able add a subject line or notes to remember why you're saving the item.
    • Create a folder for that assignment and move to it any pertinent emails.
Whichever method you choose, try saving everything in one place for the same assignment.

  Save anything that looks promising

  • You can go back to it and really engage with it later.
  • When you start writing you can sift through and decide what to keep, or not.
  • It's common—and helpful—to gather more sources than you end up using.

  Use citation help

  • Look the citation tool in a library databse. It could be a link labeled cite or citation help.
  • The citation tool will give you example citations in APA, MLA, and other popular formats.
  • Also refer to this Citation Guide
  • .

  Notice other helpful tools

For example, some databases provide translations and audio recordings of articles.

  Note new search terms

  • Read over what you find.
  • A quick way to do this:
    • Scan the Details, Summary, or Abstract on the screen after you click the title.
  • Why it helps to do this:
    • Gives you additional keywords or search terms to try.
    • Helps you think about your topic and start writing your paper in your head.
  • Notice linked Subject terms—usually underneath the Abstract, Summary, or Details of an item. They may lead to other useful sources.

  Notice links to similar or related results

  • Some databases will display, on the results screen, links to other resources that are related to your search.
  • They might say something like, More like this—or—Find similar results.

When using the library catalog or a database, NOTICE the many tools provided to help you save, cite, and think about what you find.