Research & Finding Tools

Writing a research paper can be challenging. With the right tools and resources, the process can be less complicated. The resources below have been developed to help improve the process. Contact the Reference Librarians for further assistance or help.

Writing the paper

  • Understanding the Assignment – The first step in any successful college writing venture is reading the assignment.
  • Brainstorming – Techniques that will help you start writing a paper and continue writing through the challenges of the revising process.
  • Argument – Define what an argument is and explain why you need one in most of your academic essays.
  • Evidence – help you decide what counts as evidence, put evidence to work in your writing
  • College Writing – Help you figure out what your college instructors expect when they give you a writing assignment

Finding Material

  • The John B. Coleman Library Online Catalog – Books and other materials you may check out.
  • E-Journal Portal
  • Reserved Materials – Your instructor may have placed items on Reserve. Electronic Reserves and ERes is the same as Reserves.
  • Finding materials on the history of Prairie View – Special Collections/Archives is located on the fifth floor of the Library. Call or email on availability of material on your topic.
  • You are able to check-out items from many other area Texas Libraries. You must first get a TexShare card first.
  • Interlibrary Loan allows you to order books and articles we do not own. Look for the link Request from ILL when searching for articles and books. World Cat is a great place to search for Books and other formats.

Evaluation & Preparation

  • Copyright – John B. Coleman Library observes the United States copyright legislation (title 17, U.S. Code). If you need help in interpreting copyright please see the Copyright Office Website for assistance.
  • Evaluating Print Sources – Strategies to evaluate secondary printed sources-books, journal articles, magazines, etc.
  • How do you determine if a book is “scholarly”? – Look for the Peer Review icon when selecting a resource.
  • Plagiarism – What plagiarism is and steps to avoid plagiarizing.
  • Editing and Proofreading – It’s hard to edit or proofread a paper that you’ve just finished writing.


Citation Tools

These resources will attempt to format your citation for you. They will get you probably 80% of the way there,
but mistakes happen! Double check the citation with a handbook.

  • End Note – Available as part of Web of Science database. Sign In | Register for Free – With End Note the online bibliographic databases, you can organize your references, images and PDFs in any language, and create bibliographies and figure lists instantly.
  • RefWorks – Web-based bibliography and database manager that allows you to create your own personal database by importing references from text files or online databases and other various sources. You can use these references in writing papers and automatically format the paper and the bibliography in seconds
  • Write-N-Cite – Is a utility that allows users to run an abbreviated version of RefWorks in their word processor. It works with your word-processor to create citations while you are writing your paper. With Write-N-Cite, you can cite references in a manuscript instantly. There are multiple versions of Write-N-Cite available – depending on your preferred operating system.
    • Installing Write-N-Cite – Log on on to your RefWorks account, select Tools pull down menu and select Write-N-Write. Follow the instructions. You must have administrators rights to Install Write-N-Cite feature on your computer.
  • Cite While You Write (also known as CWYW) is a key feature of End Note. It allows you to access End Note from within Microsoft Word to insert citations into your Word documents. You can insert citations anytime during your writing process. You can also use Cite While You Write to insert images (figures) from an End Note library into your Word documents. CWYW automatically builds a bibliography from the citations you insert. You can also create a list of figures.
    • Installing Cite While You Write – Log on to your End Note Account via Web of Science and select Options. Select Download Installers from the Options menu and follow the instructions. You must have administrators’ rights to install the Cite While You Write feature on your computer.

Presentation Resources

Free Image Resources

Additional Help

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