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.

Getting Started

Remember the first rule of using a library: Help is Always Available!
Ask at the Reference Desk for assistance or
for an appointment with a subject specialist.
Course Handouts

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

  • Find Books – The John B. Coleman Library Online Catalog – Books and other materials you may check out.
  • Find Journal Articles – Search the Library’s various databases for abstracts and full text
  • Find Articles when you have the Journal Title – E-Journals
  • Find Resources by Subject
  • Finding Government Documents – John B. Coleman Library is a U.S. Depository – Check in with the Documents Librarian – Located at the Periodicals Area.
  • Finding material on Reserve – 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?” Is Your Journal Scholarly? Finding Peer Reviewed Material

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.

Is Your Web Site Credible? – Finding information on the World Wide Web is one thing, trusting it is another. You must be a critical consumer of materials you find on the Web. Quality and validity are not guaranteed when anyone can publish anything, anytime, without the benefit of scholarly peer review. Use this guide to analyze the web sites you find.

 

Handbooks


Tools

Citation Help

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 – 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.

  • RefWorks (ProQuest): on campus and off campus access available. First time users should sign up for a personal account and login with the personal account to use the citation tool.
  • RefWorks (Legacy):  For users with existing accounts only. Off campus access to RefWorks (Legacy)  Prairie View Group code is: RWPrairieViewU

Note: This version of RefWorks will be phased out, so you may want to move your account to the New RefWorks. Using both old and New RefWorks within one document in Write-n-Cite can cause problems, so finish your projects before making the switch.


 

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 – Logon on to your RefWorks (ProQuest) (Legacy) 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 (http://www.myendnoteweb.com) 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.

 

Citation Style Guides

 


Other Resources

Presentations

Free Image Resources

 


Help

Writing CenterThe Prairie View Writing Center is here to assist you!

Getting FeedbackFeedback from someone else about your writing.

Ask a Librarian – By phone – (936) 261-1535 or by email askalibrarian@pvamu.edu

Assistance from the Northwest Houston Center(713) 790-7282 by email at ejbrumfield@pvamu.edu

Access from home and off campus:

All Faculty, Staff and Students are required to enter your network ID and network password to access the Library’s electronic resources from off campus.

Your network ID is the first part of your Prairie View A&M University e-mail address (your network id is the part before the @ on your e-mail address) and your password is your e-mail password.

Example:  jbcoleman@pvamu.edu

In this example; “jbcoleman” would be the network ID

All current registered students, faculty and staff have assigned PVAMU e-mail accounts. If you do not know your Prairie View e-mail address or need help, you may call the Prairie View Help Desk 24/7 at (936) 261-2525. More information from IT Services.