With Thanksgiving break right around the corner, we realize that many students are starting final papers and end-of-term research projects! Here are 3 ZSR-approved shortcuts that can save you time as you begin your next research paper:

Use reference sources to focus your research topic

photograph of encyclopedias and reference database being used.

We call it pre-research. When beginning your research, it’s useful to start with resources that offer broad coverage of the topic– sources that survey the topic or subject you’re researching can help lead to more specific studies. Books, eBooks and online reference databases are great places to start your research when you know little about a topic or need a quick summary of basic ideas. These resources are also useful for familiarizing yourself with the vocabulary of the field, which can help you identify key terms for further research! Reviewing the footnotes and/or bibliographies may also lead to further sources to use in your research.

Zotero ftw!

insert a bibliography

What if there was an online system that could help you collect, organize, share and cite all of your research sources in a matter of minutes? There is! Meet Zotero, a free, open-source citation management system that will save you time and energy in collecting, organizing, and citing your sources. Get started using Zotero:

Meet with a librarian!

photograph of Kathy Shields assisting student researcher

ZSR librarians are here to help you with your research, at any stage of the process– narrowing your topic, finding resources, formatting citations, and everything in between! Our research librarians are trained in specific academic disciplines to support all academic departments here at WFU (humanities, social sciences, business, and natural sciences, etc.). If you’d like some help from one of the information professionals at ZSR, you can:

Let ZSR help you get a jumpstart on your next research paper!