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Resources and Sustainability Research Paper: Find Reliable Information

This guide was created with the intention of pointing you toward steps and resources for developing an effective research paper about the science, economics, history, ethics, sociology, politics, and future trends within resources and sustainability.

How to Use This Page

The bulk of your work will be reading both academic, peer-reviewed research articles and review articles you will find in our databases. If you think you've found a good source from a non-UW database or a Google search, try searching for it in our databases to ensure it has been peer-reviewed, or ask if you're not certain that it's reliable information.

Like books and book chapters, review articles give you a nice analysis of a topic. Your research paper will look a lot like a review article. However, when searching for research articles, don't read each in its entirety. The abstract, introduction, and conclusion are the most important parts to know if it's relevant to what you're looking for. After you've selected a source you want to use, read it carefully. The works research articles and review articles cite are also worth looking at. If there's anything you don't understand, use resources from the previous tab of this LibGuide or ask for help. 

Search widely. Practice well-rounded research techniques by searching more than one database or website. More importantly, this assignment requires you to look at your question/problem from multiple perspectives (HINT: subject databases). Consider potential stakeholders or communities, organizations, and environments involved in the relationship, which may be from the public sector (protection legislation, government), private sector (businesses, partnerships, proprietors), or civil sector (community or indigenous organization, non-profit, public participation). 


Key Words

- Use related words or synonyms : Use a thesaurus to find alternative ways of expressing your topic.

- Search for search terms : Find background information on your topic and use the words listed.

- Specific entry : Use the most precise, specific terms you can find. 

- Generalize : Use broader terms that encompass your topic and scan the results for information relating to your topic.

- Scoping : Combine your topic with the type of information that you want to find. 

Search Techniques

  • Find concepts/terms from articles to focus your search
  • Stemming:  migrat* (finds migrate, migration, and migratory) 
  • Phrases:  "bottlenose dolphins" 
  • Subset grouping with phrases:  ("whooping cranes" OR "sandhill cranes") AND (Wisconsin OR Michigan)