Collections of state documents can also be an invaluable source for certain topics, such as local environmental problems. Modern university libraries have most of their collections online.
Every university library has its own database for books and journals.
Make sure you read the search screen for the online system you are using, because many online indexes and catalogs ask you to click on Keyword Search or something similar, before sending the surfer in search of the prize. Some Hot Tips To Enhance Your Quest For Fire: Try using a little logic - Boolean logic, that is. Most online indexes use some version of Boolean searching.
Speaking of which, don’t ignore the internet search engines like It lets me keyword search a huge list of sources (including lots of stuff that's not in the library), lets me scan titles of individual issues of journals, and even (for a fee) lets me order photocopies of articles online, or get their table of contents regularly delivered to my email box. Yet Another In a Continuing Series of Hot Library Tips. That means lopping off the last letter or so, and sticking on a "wild card" which says "this plus any variation of this", such as plural forms.
You can order a copy of any book or journal article through the library's inter-library loan department.
Ask at the reference/information desk about this service.But most of the time, what you have is a genuinely fuzzy idea, and that's where keyword searches come in real handy.Every library has at least one keyword-searchable index of magazines and journals, and may even have a special index that covers your subject area. Try typing in the words that come closest to your topic, and see what happens.This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper.Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide.Use it on your first draft to get your bearings, or on your final draft to check the way you’ve organized your paragraphs. Many papers may have more than that, but if yours has less, you probably skimped in the endless hours in the library department.Even better, papers should draw on a variety of sources, which usually boils down to books, essays, journal articles and/or magazines.Every system has a different "wild card" character (usually a ? Not Every Library Has Every Book Or Journal, or every issue of every journal.Find out what sources are NOT available locally, but potentially valuable to your paper.No more than one third of your sources should come from magazines or the internet, unless they refer to actual data.If your entire argument is built upon a stack of Newsweeks, it will tremble in the slightest breeze. Try to use several different types of sources in your research.