UWP 1: Introduction to Academic Literacies

by Matthew Conner, Melissa Browne – August 11, 2021


This guide is designed to help you find scholarly secondary research for your UWP1 Research Project. For a comprehensive listing of search tools, visit the UC Davis Library website.

Matthew Conner

Student Services
Student Services Librarian



In this Guide:

To search from off campus, make sure you download, install and configure the library’s VPN, Pulse Secure.

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Develop a strategy! This will help you focus your search, locate relevant information and save time.

1. Consider Sources and Search Tools

Good research and writing draws on information from a variety of sources. Think about the types of secondary research that could inform your thinking about your research question:

Source TypesResearch Tools
e-BooksUC Davis Library Catalog
Scholarly Journal ArticlesSubscription Database(s) - Subject Guides
Web SourcesCommercial Search Engine - Google

2. Identify Keywords

a. Identify the key concepts in your research question.

Example: What are the genres of writing in biology?

b. Build on your key concepts to create a Keyword Search (watch through 1:53)

Example: (genres or conventions or discourse) and (writing or composing or authorship) and biology

3. Trace Citations

Looking up the References at the end of encyclopedia entries and other sources can lead you to additional relevant information.

Books are typically broad in scope and can be very helpful for providing context and orienting you to a topic.

1. Watch

2. Search 

The UC Davis Library Catalog tells you what the library owns or has access to.

See also: eBooks: Access Online Books During Library Building Closures

Consider using one of these citation managers to keep track of your sources and generate citations:

For information about additional tools, see the library’s Citation Manager Comparison.