Practical academic resources

As we’re getting into this term, I know that I’ve noticed a little more emphasis on writing and case studies as a part of the workload.  In particular, for our Sustainability course we have a “Sustainability Issue Analysis” due this coming Tuesday, in which we are required to cite at least three recent journal articles related to a topic of our choosing related to consumer electronics and the environment.  I know that up until now I’d been stressing a little bit about finding these sources, especially with everything else in the term going on.  So, I’ve got some ideas for resources that can hopefully be used to cull useful material for future papers that are available to MIMers (and others too, depending on the source).

Google Scholar: Now, in talking to other MIMers about this source, I was informed that it was not new… but it was new to me!  Essentially, this is Google’s search power put to use over an impressive set of academic journal sources.  The nice part about this research tool is that it easily pulls up a wealth of articles… the down side is that all of these sources aren’t free – many require a (steep) fee, or subscription to the service.  But, there are still plenty of free articles that are legitimate academic resources – it just takes a little bit of searching.

PSU Library Journal Search: PSU’s a pretty big school, and the nice thing about that is that they’ve got the resources to sign up for subscriptions to some of the afore mentioned sites that were prohibited some use in Google Scholar searches.  There’s a fairly comprehensive set of search features on the site that allow for easy navigation to the sources that you need.

While we’re at it, once you’ve got your sources, you’ll need to know how to cite everything appropriately.  For most professors, at least so far in this program, the APA citation style is preferred (Cliff, in particular requires this style for our AOP write-ups).  Depending on your major in undergrad, you may already be familiar, but for others, there are helpful sites to give you a hand, and show you how it’s done.  Or, if you’re in a hurry, there’s a “citation machine” that will spit out a block of text that you can just plug into your work’s cited page!

Well, I hope that some of this helps give prospective students an idea of how to cope with the workload in the program (and also hope it helps current students with what they have to wrestle with now).  If you’ve got a tip related to academic resources, leave us a comment!



1 Comment

Filed under Common Questions, Coursework, Patrick's Entries

One response to “Practical academic resources

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