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Polymathic and Health Science Scholars

Getting Started With Your Literature Search

Beginning Your Literature Search

Getting started with your research for your senior thesis can be a daunting task. But, librarians are here to help. This guide has been designed to guide students through finding the best resources in their selected topic area. To get started, you'll need to form a good research question. Searching in the literature will help you to refine and perhaps narrow or expand that question. It's critical to be flexible with your research question and to view searching as a part of your inquiry. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Define your question and generate some alternate terms (or synonyms) that may help you to locate more literature.
  • Use multiple databases. Not everything is contained in one database.
  • Consider your topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. You will likely want to represent both the education literature and the sociological literature if your question covers both areas.
  • Use the tools available to you:
    • Library databases and services to track down articles.
    • The Writing Center at UT.
    • Citation managers and other tools to support managing your research workflow.
    • One-on-one librarian consultations to help refine your question and uncover useful resources.


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Polymathic & Health Sciences Coordinator

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Hannah Chapman Tripp
Life Sciences Library
MAI 224

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