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WRI 502: Writing a Persuasive Proposal in Quantitative Disiplines: Getting ready

This guide will help graduate students in Engineering, Science and related fields to identify tools and resources for researching literature and funding information in your field.

Why use the library?

When working on a project, paper or dissertation, you need to perform library research for several reasons:

  1. to keep up with the current thinking in the field
  2. to review what is known about a given phenomenon or problem so that you can place your own contribution in context
  3. to locate specific information needed to successfully carry out the experiment, project or solve the problem

Getting prepared

Before you begin your research, you should ask yourself some questions to help you narrow your search parameters:

  • What kind of information are you looking for?
  • Do you need data? Do you want facts? Opinions? News reports? Research studies? Analyses? 

 The Library web site is a good place to start. Use the Main Catalog or Books+ to search for books, journal titles, videos and dissertations. To find journal articles, conference papers, book chapters on a particular topic, use a specialized database for your research area or Articles+.