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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

E 314

Guide for students in E314 classes

Find Articles, Books, Chapters, Reviews & More

A Good Search: Step-by-Step

First, you need to determine what tool to use for your search.

  • Take a moment to think about who might be writing and publishing the kinds of material you need. Will it be in a newspaper? A scholarly journal? A personal letter? When was it likely published? 
    • Have further questions about the types of materials/sources? See the Types of Sources page on this guide. 
  • With those questions in mind, look over the list of databases and choose one for a search. If you're still unsure what library databases are and how to use them, check out the helpful video at the bottom of the page.

To find databases for other fields that may speak to your research, check out the list of Databases by Subject.

Now you'll need to review your list of results to find an article or book that will be useful to you.

  • Are you looking for scholarly or popular or trade sources? Are you looking for primary or secondary sources? Not sure? Check out this guide to help you Evaluate Books and Articles.
  • Once you determine that a source is relevant to your topic and appropriate for the assignment, you're ready to actually find it! See Tab #3 Find the Physical Book or PDF.

Found a reference to an article or book you want to read? Now it's time to locate it!

  • Can you find the full text of the article? (Look for an HTML or PDF link.)
  • If you don't see full article or a link to the book, click the Find@UT button to see if the full text is available electronically or, if you are not already in the Catalog, in print in the library.
  • No FindIt@UT button? Copy the name of the journal or book and search for it in the Library Catalog title search.
    • Available? Take a look at the Find Books at UT Libraries tutorial to learn how to locate a book.
    • Checked out? Use the Pick It Up service to shorten the due date and get an email when it's ready for you to use. To find the Pick It Up link, you will need to sign in using your EID and password. 
      Not sure if a book is checked out? The catalog record will say "Not Available". 
    • Not in the Catalog? Ask for help or request it through InterLibrary Services.

What is a Library Database?

Your instructor or subject librarian may throw around the term "library database" a lot, but what exactly do they mean? This video from RMIT University in Australia explains the term and how you can use databases for research. (Plus, the narrator has a great accent!)

Transcript available through YouTube.

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