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Home / Research Help / Undergraduate Guide to Rod Library / Doing Research at the Rod

Doing Research at the Rod

Assigment Calculator | Selecting a topic | Identifying databases | Searching for articles | Internet Research | Evaluating sources| Books & other materials | Citing your sources | Plagiarism | 1-Click | OneNote | Help

Using Assignment Calculator to plan your assignment

How can you make sure you are on track so you finish your paper on time?

The Assignment Calculator is a tool that shows the steps that should be completed in the process of writing a research paper. After entering an assignment due date on the Assignment Calculator page, the result is a list of these steps and dates by which each should be completed. Each step also includes links to documents that provide explanations and tips on how to complete that particular step.

 Selecting a topic

How can you select a topic that is workable?

Click here to find the following information:
What are some ideas on ways to select a topic for a paper?
How can you determine if a topic is too narrow or too broad?
How can a narrow topic be broadened?
How can a broad topic be narrowed?

Identifying databases to use to find articles on your topic

After your topic has been selected, where do you get the articles you need?

Click here for ideas on how to find databases for your topic.

Databases useful to undergraduates:

    • CQ Researcher
      Included in this source is a series of reports covering a variety of political and social issues. Each report contains background information, a chronology of events, a Pro-Con section and a bibliography of sources covering the topic of the report as well as other areas of interest.
    • Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
      A full-text resource covering social issues. It brings together information that’s needed to understand an issue: pro and con viewpoint articles, reference articles, magazine and journal articles, newspapers, primary source documents, government and organizational statistics.
    • Academic OneFile
      A source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from many leading journals and reference sources, with extensive coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects.

Rod Library has over 170 databases that index articles. So, if you aren't finding what you need in the above databases, come and see a librarian! 

Searching for articles

You have found the databases you need, what is the best way to search them for the articles that are most useful?

Boolean searching

Boolean searching is the system used in searching most databases. For more information on using this system to the best advantage, click here.

PantherProwler vs. individual databases

When is it best to use PantherProwler and when is it best to go directly to an individual database? Find out here.

What is the  Find it linker button image  linker and where can it be found?

Find It! @ Rod Library FAQ

For additional help in searching the databases see Database Tutorials and Help Pages. Not all databases have a tutorial. Also check out the Help button on the database.  You may also ask a librarian for advice. 

Using the Internet for research

Is it OK to use the Internet to do research for a paper or speech?

For Pros and Cons of using the Internet to do research, click here.
See also: Web Site Evaluation Guide.

Undergraduate Research Engine (Google custom search)

Evaluating what you find

You have found some promising articles. How can you tell if they are the quality your professor recommends?

What is the difference between magazines and journals?
See: Journal or Magazine? Recognizing the Difference

What is a Scholarly Article? What is a Peer-reviewed article?
How can you evaluate the quality of a web site?
See: Web Site Evaluation Guide 

Searching for books and other materials (UNISTAR)

Your assignment requires that you have more sources than just articles. Where can you go to find these?

Go to UNISTAR which is located under the Books & More tab on the Rod Library home page.   Click here for information on searching UNISTAR.

Citing your articles

 Your professor says that you need to make a bibliography or list of resources for your paper. What do you do?

Click here to find out.

Avoiding plagiarism and copyright infringement

You know that plagiarism is a serious offense. What are some tips on how to avoid it?

Learn tips to avoid plaigiarism here.

Finding definitions using 1-Click

How can you find out the meaning of words and phrases you come across while using the computer in the library without stopping to get a dictionary?

 Find out about 1-Click here.


What is OneNote?

 Microsoft Office OneNote is a digital notebook that allows you to organize all of your notes in one place. Look for this program on Rod Library computers.  Get training to use this program (and others) through ITS (Information Technology Services).  OneNote workshop schedule  | Workshop calendar

Additional help in researching and writing your paper:

Help in the Library

Research Tips
Request a [Library] Research Consultation
Ask Us!

Help on Campus

Academic Learning Center free classes and workshops
Academic Learning Center brochure
UNI Writing Center
Reading and Learning Center
Math and Science Services
Ask-A-Tutor (on-campus help with assignments)