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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

CE 333T

Course Guide for CE 333T

To find the complete list of all our Databases go to > Research Tools > Find Articles Using Databases

Reference sources can help you find and develop a research topic by providing background information, facts, statistics, dates and other general information on most topics. 

Recommended Library Databases:

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library is database of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources to help find background information and define your topic. 
  • CQ Researcher explores a single "hot" issue in the news in depth each week. Topics range from social and teen issues to environment, health, education and science and technology. Examples include: Robotic Warfare, Managing Nuclear Waste, Domestic Drones, BP Oil Spill, Genetically Modified Food, Fracking, Synthetic Biology, 3D Printing, Organ Donations, Wind Power, Modernizing the Grid, Energy Policy, Nuclear Power, Managing Nuclear Waste, High Speed Trains, and more.

Books can provide a very comprehensive view of a topic; see Find Books for more information.

Wikipedia can be helpful in finding background information, keywords and major concepts.  Check out this quick video on Using Wikipedia for Academic Research.  This is another great (and quick) video on Credible Websites.

Government websites are a wealth of information and can include technical reports, statistics, data, legal cases, patents, case studies, and much more.  

           Tip: Search Google and filter your results by .gov (or .mil).

1. Background information

  • Wikipedia - encyclopedia (authors are anonymous, vetted (maybe) by the public)
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library (written by experts, vetted by editors) 
  • Books - Check out Find Books for more information 
  • Government websites

2. Find articles using the library's amazing databases: > Research Tools > Find Articles Using Databases

Searching Tips:

  • Use keywords and synonyms 

Think of the official or scientific terms for common words e.g. "unmanned aircraft" for drones or "hydraulic fracturing" for fracking. 

  • Add additional terms to refine your results
    • fracking AND wastewater
  • Try to avoid generic words like pros and cons

​If you need articles related to GMOs and their benefit to society consider using terms like “agricultural productivity” or hunger.  If you are lacking information on the negative side try adding terms like health risks" or environmental.

Example search results: 

  • gmo = 2,829
  • (gmo OR genetically modified organism) = 4,234
  • (gmo OR genetically modified organism) AND hunger = 35
  • (gmo OR genetically modified organism) AND (hunger OR famine) = 41
  • (gmo OR genetically modified organism) AND (hunger OR famine OR droughts) = 87

There is no one “right” way to search. These are just a few tips and suggestions, if you are having trouble finding information – email me! I can help with choosing keywords or recommend databases and other resources.

Ask for help if you 

  • can't finding enough material on your topic
  • can't locate the full text of an article
  • can't find a book or are having problems with an e-book

Cite Your Sources is a guide to help you:

Talk to a Librarian!

If you need help please contact an Engineering Librarian!

Popular fact-checking sites:

When in doubt . . . ask a librarian!

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