September 2009 Archives

Citation Mangers

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Citing resources in a research project is incredibly important. Citations give credit to authors for their quotes and concepts and also allow readers to find the resources used in the project to get more information about the topic. 

While creating in-text citations and bibliographies is important and essential, it's also tedious. Finding all the information for the correct bibliographic style and then formatting it correctly as well can take almost as long as writing the paper! Until someone kind invented a program that can do it for us... the citation manager. When I learned it was possible for a program to gather the information I need for citations AND format my bibliography AND create my in-text citations in the proper style, I couldn't believe no one had let me in on the secret three years ago when I started writing research papers.

U of M Libraries offer workshops on three different citation managers Zotero, RefWorks, and EndNote. Of the three, I think that Zotero and RefWorks can be most useful for undergraduates, because it is necessary to buy EndNote software and the other two are free for student use. Zotero is a free download and works within a specific Firefox browser (though this is being updated with the new beta program.) It can grab basic information off any website you are currently on. RefWorks is offered through a U of M account. One way this is a superior program when compared to Zotero is, since the information is connected to a U of M account it can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection.

For more information check out the libraries workshops!

Unravel the Library

The "Unravel the Library" sessions offered by the U of M Libraries are a valuable student resource. Especially as a freshman student, who is completely new to research, or as an undergraduate, who does not have a good understanding the library system at the U of M, it can be very easy to to get lost and frustrated using the library website to search for information. 

Both Unravel I and Unravel II can be useful for students who are beginning their first research papers, but I see the most benefit for students who have done a few papers without fully understanding how to use the library. These students will instantly recognize what they have been doing wrong and use their new skills on the next assignment. The bottom line of the Unravel sessions is that they offer a short amount of instruction that can save hours of research time later on.

What is PRC?

Peer Research Consultant!

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2009 is the next archive.

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