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Celebrating the Life
Find Background Information
If you're not very familiar with the topic you're writing on, look up some basic background information to give you an overview and help you identify keywords for searching. 
Brainstorm Keywords
Sometimes you get no results, sometimes you get a ton (and many times none are relevant!)
Choose keywords which represent the main concepts of your paper topic. Then for each concept, choose a number of keywords, including synonyms and related terms.

Here's an example to get you started:
Government-funded preschool for all children would reduce inequality


Concept 1


Concept 2


Concept 3













early childhood education


Then combine them using AND and OR
  • AND narrows your search by looking for articles with all of the words (put AND between different concepts (columns))
  • OR broadens your search by looking for articles with any of the word (put OR between synonyms on the same search line (rows))
**Brainstorm or add to your own keywords using our keyword brainstorming tool**
Find Articles Using Databases
Finding Newspaper Articles in LexisNexis
LexisNexis Academic
Try these help pages, or take a look at these screenshots.

1) First, click 'Search by Content Type', then 'All News'

search news then all news

2) Now, click 'Advanced Options'. Here you may limit by date, source type, article type and location...

advanced option such as date, source type and location

  • Separate your keywords by AND or OR all on the same line.
Where is the Article?
If an article is not full-text in the database you are searching, you have two options:

1)Follow  to see if it is available in another database or in print in the library.
2)      Search for the title of the journal (not the title of the article) in the Library Catalog or the
Find a Journal page to see if it is available electronically or in print.
Find Statistics
Statistics can draw a surprising picture about your topic. Here is a guide and some resources for Finding Statistics

My suggestions:
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States - The Table of Contents on the left will allow you to search by topic. National and some regional stats.
  • Social Explorer - interactive map of statistics. Click on the US Demography Map and then change the data you want to see. You can see national, state and local stats.
click change data to see options.
Get Help
Contact the course librarians:

Elise Nacca

Grace Atkins

Chat with a Librarian
Monday-Thursday, 10am - midnight
Friday, 10am - 4pm
Sunday, 6pm - midnight

PCL Information and Research Help Desk
Evaluation Exercise #1
Link to Article:
Electric Car Benefits? Just Myths 

  • What is the argument?
  • What kind of evidence is used to support the argument?
  • Who is the author?
  • Is bias present in the language?
  • Do you think this resource is credible? Why?
Evaluation Exercise #2
Are these representative viewpoints that would help you map this controversy?  Why or why not?  
  • Discuss the evaluation criteria in your group and note your thoughts in the worksheet.  
  • Choose a group member to report out to the class on your evaluation.

Group 1

Article pdf
Evaluation Worksheet - 12 p.m.
Evaluation Worksheet - 1 p.m.
Evaluation Worksheet - 2 p.m.

Group 2
Article pdf
Evaluation Worksheet - 12 p.m.
Evaluation Worksheet - 1 p.m.
Evaluation Worksheet - 2 p.m.

Group 3
Article pdf
Evaluation Worksheet - 12 p.m.
Evaluation Worksheet - 1 p.m.
Evaluation Worksheet - 2 p.m.

Group 4
Article pdf
Evaluation Worksheet - 12 p.m.
Evaluation Worksheet - 1 p.m.
Evaluation Worksheet - 2 p.m.
Find Books and Book Chapters
Find print and ebooks - www.lib.utexas.edu > blue search box > Catalog tab
  • To find a book on your topic, start with a keyword search.
  • When you find a good title, follow the subject headings for more books on the topic.
  • To locate the book, make sure you write down the entire call number, including the library that owns it.

Google Books
Search the full text of books provided by publishers and libraries.  Find relevant book chapters and passages.
  • The full text will be viewable if the book is out of copyright. Books still under copyright may provide a preview of a limited number of pages or just a snippet.
  • When you find a good title, use the “Find this book in a library” feature to see if UT owns it or search for the title in the Library Catalog. (Some books don't include the "Find this book in a library" feature.)