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University of Texas Libraries
Celebrating the Life
Contact Us
 Librarians are assigned to work with each UGS course:

  • Michele Ostrow, micheleo@austin.utexas.edu
  • Krystal Wyatt-Baxter, krystal@austin.utexas.edu
  • Elise Nacca, elisenacca@austin.utexas.edu
  • Cindy Fisher, cindyf@austin.utexas.edu
  • Sarah Brandt, s.brandt@austin.utexas.edu
  • Reach all of us at once at lib-instruction@utlists.utexas.edu
  • Chat with a UT Librarian Sunday - Thursday until midnight!

You may also find individual course guides for this semester's classes that we are working with. More guides will appear over the course of the semester:
Write & Cite
Plagiarism and Citing Help:
Are students having trouble understanding how and when to cite? The following tutorials can be done as a group in class or assigned outside of the classroom:

Citation software:

NoodleTools - students sign up for a free account, enter their citations and it formats them in MLA, APA or Chicago style.  Also supports notetaking.

Public Speaking +
 Other Study Skills workshops: Led by staff of the Sanger Learning Center. For schedule and to reserve, login to myUGS.
Evaluate Websites, Articles and Books
Popular Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals
This grid will help you distinguish between scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles and popular articles.  Compare your article with the components of a scholarly article.

How to Evaluate Books, Journals, Magazines, and Newspapers
Or How to Evaluate Websites
These  guides provide you with some criteria and tips for exploring the credibility of a source by assessing authority, accuracy, currency, objectivity, and purpose.

Possible cohort activity - have students brainstorm evaluation criteria, make sure they hit:
  1. Currency: When was this web site last updated? Is it current enough?
  2. Relevancy: Is this information that you are looking for? Does it talk about your topic?
  3. Authority: Who is the author? Is s/he an expert? Who is the publisher? Are they reputable?  Is the source peer-reviewed?
  4. Accuracy: Is this true? Where did they get this information? Can you find this information anywhere else? Can you find evidence to back it up from another resource? Are studies mentioned but not cited? Can you locate those studies? 
  5. Purpose: What is the purpose of this site? Is this fact or opinion based? Is it biased?
Research Tips
Some of our most requested research help into short how-tos. 
For Your Grad Research
Here are some resources that are available for you, in your graduate reseach:
Explaining the Research Process
                          research process

Research is an iterative process and takes much practice in order to really hone the skill. We often explain to our students that the three beginning steps of the research process are:
  • brainstorming keywords to use in a search for information
  • reading contextual (or background information) to gain more knowlege and find more keywords
  • evaluating the information we've found and gaining contextual information and finding more keywords

Resources to help with the research process:
  • Use this online keyword brainstorming tool to help students organize their keywords.
  • Encourage students to use contextual information (textbooks, enyclopedias, wikipedia) to broaden their understanding of a topic.
  • Evaluate the information they've found using the website, book, and article criteria.
Exercises & Activities to Use with Your Class
The following exercises are taken from the Signature Course Faculty Toolkit created by Library Instruction Services.
  • Finding and Evaluating Articles from Library Databases – This guide has techniques and exercises to help you teach your students how to select a database, and what techniques to use to find and evaluate articles.
  • Finding and Evaluating Viewpoint Articles from Library Databases – Will your students be researching a controversy? This guide will lead you through teaching them how to find and evaluate viewpoint articles.
  • Using Evidence to Build Arguments – Learn ways to teach your students how to think about finding and evaluating evidence to synthesize into arguments in their papers.
  • Plagiarism Awareness Training (Peer Mentor Training Manual) - Originally created for use by FIG mentors with their students, the exercises included in this training can easily be used within a TA section. Barely any adaption of content is needed since it was created specifically to address first-year students in across the disciplines. 
Databases for First-year Research
The following databases are useful starting places for undergraduate research.  Contact your course librarian to request a customized course research guide with recommended resources specific to your assignments.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library: A collection of full-text subject encyclopedias.  A great place for students to pre-research a topic and generate keywords for finding more information.
  • Academic Search Complete: Contains popular articles from newspapers and magazines as well as scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles from across disciplines.
  • This Teaching Materials site, developed for lower-level writing courses, suggests starting places for finding particular types of information, such as speeches and images.  Some of the entries include links to search tips or classroom activities that were developed in support of the writing courses, but that could also be used in your courses.
Citations for UGS Courses
Find Articles tutorial

Find Books
 Visit the Find Books page.