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Information Tracing!: Resources for Research and Writing a Paper

Guide to finding and vetting information.

Free Library of Philadelphia

Find books other materials

Check our holdings in WorldCat

Where to Find FREE Textbooks and Resources

Links to statistical sources listed above

Searching Google Books

Default search: Relevance
Phrase: "[phrase]"
Proximity: Some claim that [Around(n)]-- For example, [slavery AROUND(4) indigo] will search for "slavery" and "indigo" within 4 words of each other, but I haven't been able to duplicate it.
Wildcard: Supports use of wildcards for words in a phrase.  Use an asterisk * within a phrase search to match any word in that position. So, for example, to find "a little neglect may breed mischief" when you are not sure of the second to last word, search "a little neglect may * mischief".
Truncation: Automatic truncation, which can be turned off by using quotation marks around each term that should not be stemmed.
OCR accuracy: poor to fair, with newer publications tending to be more accurate.
Alternative corpus:

What is a thesis statement? I need some examples, too. (Rasmussen College)

Where to find journal articles on health sciences topics

Gather and Organize Research- free for one project

PowerNotes is software that helps you gather and organize research.

Have questions about PowerNotes? Tips, troubleshooting, and tutorials are here:

Still need help? You can use the PowerNotes contact form, or you can contact the Penn Libraries -- be sure to include "PowerNotes" in your question, so it is routed to the correct librarian.




Creative Commons Image Search

Creative Commons offers a search for public domain and CC licensed images. You can also do a web search for flikr:cCreative Commons, that will bring up a CC flkr search for images by arranged by CC license.

Screen shot of Creative Commons website

Screenshot of Creative Commons search page

Google Docs: Free Online Documents for Personal Use

Keyword Searching

This document suggests a good method of crafting effective keyword searches:

Suggested Keywords: 

jargon, writing structure, "show don't tell," disciplines, disciplinarily, "good writing," genres, abstraction, nominative, syntax, mechanics, voice, creativity, epistemology, attribution, narrative, IMRAD, visual literacy, scholarly, academic text

How to Read a Citation

Book citations generally show a publisher and a city of publication. Book chapters will include the title of the chapter as well as the name of the book.

Article citations have a journal/periodical title in addition to the article title. They will usually also show a volume and issue number, and may show a day and month.

Free software to help you add citation to your papers

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, open-source, easy-to-use citation management tool to help you collect, organize, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work in the web browser itself. Zotero allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies. You can use Zotero to

  • Create a personal database online
  • Import references automatically from most research databases and library catalogs
  • Organize and annotate references
  • Format references and bibliographies in Microsoft Word and other word processing program documents
  • Format citations automatically in any of hundreds of styles, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, APA, and MLA
  • Share your citations or collaborate with others online through Zotero Groups
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