Stay organized. Tools inside the library's search engines, the catalog and the 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 for the citation tool in a library database. 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".
Evaluate the sources you are finding
When using the library catalog or a database, NOTICE the many tools provided to help you save, cite, and think about what you find.