Remember, you are required to submit a short bibliography of at least 5 resources you reviewed for your research area, so don't forget to do a little research in the literature, in addition to the research in the lab. It's easy to find out what your mentor has published as well as find review articles that will quickly get you up to speed on whatever you are researching.
For your mentor you can determine their area of expertise, who are they working with and what articles/books they have written.
These questions and others are easily answered by using the Experts.ASU database.
Your bibliography must include references other than what has been written by your mentor and his/her colleagues. Get up to speed quickly by review articles on the subject area. In review articles, the author surveys the literature to determine what has been done and what stills remains to be accomplished; review articles are not just a listing of articles but actually provide analysis. Also, we'll show you how to easily find more recent research. Not only will these references be useful for bibliography but also for your poster.
First, start with finding some recent review articles:
Next, we'll use the same results list to find more recent articles on the same topic.
Need to do a more extensive search on your research topic? The following literature research strategy has been developed for undergraduate engineering majors at ASU.
If your paper or talk is relatively short and only requires a few supporting pieces of documentation, you can probably keep a record of your searchs and your book and journal articles citations written down on paper such as in a notebook. Be sure to keep complete "citations" for everything you read - check those citations before you return the book to the library or before you leave the photocopy/printer with your article.
For books a complete citation includes the:
For journal articles a complete citation includes the:
But what if your assignment is for a long paper with extensive documentation? Instead of trying to manually keep track of everything, you need to have citation management software such ast's free for you because ASU has already paid for it.
With RefWorks you can:
How to use Refworks:
RefWorks is available at http://www.asu.edu/refworks
Instructions on how to sign up, export/import from databases, setting up Write N Cite, etc. are available on the ASU RefWorks guide at
The books and and journal articles you'll be using in college are written for people who are already knowledgeable about the subject. Just as every structure needs a good foundation, you'll need to learn the basics about a topic so you'll be able to understand what your research finds.
Start by asking yourself the broad, traditional questions: who, what, where, when, how and why?
Next read to:
You can get an introduction to just about any engineering concept via encyclopedias and handbooks; go to the Library Guide for your subject area and under the Resources tab on the guide, look for and .
As an undergraduate, you'll use primarily two types of resources:
For Booksnbsp;use the Library One Search database.
After searching your topic, use the Content Type option in the left-hand column to limit the results set to only Book/eBooks.
For Journal Articles use two different databases:
Most research at this level will require that you use more than one resource as each resource will cover different parts of the literature. (Even Google can't find everything.) Also, you may find that you have to try several times before you find the best combination of words for searching that resource. What words you use for searching and how you ask the computer to combine them will directly affect your results, so it pays to use different word combinations and strategies.
So how do you know what are the best words for your search? Well, that depends on what you're looking for!
First, you need to focus on what your research question is. The research question consists of 4 elements:
A general research question format may look like this: For [P] will [I] or [C] provide [O] ?
PV cells [P] does Gallium [I] or Silicon [C] provide more efficient electrical production [O]?
When you search databases, you'll use the [P] AND [I] concepts from your Research Question. The [C] and [I] concepts will help you determine which are the best entries as you browse your results set.
Keep in mind that literature research is a not a linear process; it's not "search, read, write, turn it in". You won't find all the good articles in your first try; you need to explore using different terminology that an author might use for your topic. The search strategy is more of a cyclic "search, read, refocus, search again ..." as many times as is necessary before you'll find enough good articles that you will reference in your paper.
Both style manuals and citation guides explain how to format bibliographies; a bibliography is the list of books and journal articles you cited in your paper or talk. Your instructor will tell you in what style or format s/he wants your bibliography. In college, the two most popular styles are MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) and of those two, APA style works well for most engineering areas. The field of engineering as a whole does not have a preferred style but some sub-fields do (ex. IEEE Style is a common style in Electrical Engineering).
For more information about APA style, see the library guide Citation Styles.
If your instructor specifies a different style, see the Advanced Guide for that engineering area to find links to guides for that format.