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Critical Writing: WRIT0760304: Fall 2023: What to Do When You Are Stuck

What to do when you are stuck

Even the most seasoned researchers get stuck. That is part of the discovery process of research.

A few suggestions:

  • Change things up: try a different kind of database, change your keywords, try a citation chase 
  • Talk to your professor or TA: they are researchers and can help direct you
  • Email or make an appointment with me.

What do I do if I hit a paywall? 

Using Penn subscribed databases sends you through the Libraries "proxy." The proxy is the key that unlocks the subscription paywalls. You should never have to pay for a journal article. Talk to your librarian if you run into trouble connecting to an article.  99% of the time they can help you get the article quickly.


    google scholar settings  

If we don't have direct access to an article or book chapter, you can "Request Scan" (the Libraries will request from another library--turn around time can be quick!) or request books from "Request Print," which will trigger a request from one of our partner libraries. Log into Franklin Catalog to see all of your options. 

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