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Where to Start - Graduate Studies

This guide provides you with information and resources to increase your knowledge and skills for graduate studies.

Research Tips

  • Utilize the library subject guides. These guides have lists of resources that are specific to your area of interest. Contact information for subject librarians are listed at the bottom. The subject librarian will be familiar with these resources, have ideas about where to begin searching, and are available to help answer questions.
  • Use multiple databases. Find databases that are specific to your subject or area of interest. You are more likely to find what you need. Google Scholar and the Discovery Search tool are great starting points, but subject specific databases may return more relevant results. Subject guides will have suggestions of which databases to look at.
  • Plan out your search. When planning your search, think of all the possible terms others might have used. For example, if you are looking for “dog therapy,” you may also want to search “canine therapy,” “animal therapy,” or “pet therapy.”
  • Refine your search results. Once you have searched your terms, on the left-hand side of the page is “Refine Results.” Use this to narrow down your search by subject, date, resource type, geography, language, etc. This helps you find results that are current and more relevant to your search. Different resource types will provide different kinds of information. Make sure you’re using the appropriate type of source.
  • Use Boolean operators and truncations. Operators (AND, OR, NOT, *) help to narrow your search results so that you have less resources to sort through and more relevant results.

Managing Citations

These tools offer ways to track, organize and manage citations for multiple projects. Many of these tools offer plug-ins so reference lists can be directly exported to Microsoft Word making bibliographies or work cited lists easier and quicker to create.

  • APA Academic - Library resource that offers writing tutorials, sample papers, APA formatting and citation guidance
  • Mendeley - Free reference manager and academic social network.
  • Zotero - Free open source reference management system
  • Citing Sources - Library webpage with links to various citation style manuals and resources.

On-Campus Resources

  • College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation - The Thesis Manual contains details regarding the preparation and submission of a thesis for approval. Pre-Formatted Preliminary Pages help you get started on formatting your thesis or dissertation.
  • Writing Center - located in the O.A. Grant humanities Building, room 239. The center offers free support to all students at any stage of the writing process. Walk-in appointments are available or students can email their work through the Online Tutorial Service.
  • Center for Educational Excellence – Community service partnerships branch connects the University to surrounding communities and forms collaborative partnerships to enrich and engage students. The Faculty and Student branch strives to support and enhance faculty led, student research projects. 
  • Career Services – Career Services helps current students with resume editing, mock interviews, career coaching and job fairs. They also offer help with career guidance and finding graduate assistant positions

Library Resources

  • Pivot - Search scholarships, travel grants, and research fellowship opportunities.
  • Dissertations & Theses (ProQuest) - Search for examples of theses and dissertations from Tarleton and other universities.
  • Learning Express Library - Practice tests and interactive skill building tutorials. Preparation for professional certification, licensing, and college and graduate school admissions tests including the SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT. User must register for an account to access LearningExpress resources.
  • Inter-Library Loan - ILL is a service to obtain materials not available in your local library collection. You may request articles, books, microforms, videos, etc. Typically, it take 1-2 weeks to receive the requested item.
  • Publication Finder - This tool allows you to look up specific journal titles and search within that publication.

Writing Literature Reviews

The purpose of a literature review is to better understand a topic and become more familiar with current trends and methodologies, and ensure the rest of your research is timely and original. A well thought out literature review will help you narrow your research scope, identify knowledge gaps, introduce major concepts of the topic, and explore key questions the topic seeks to answer. The library has several books on conducting and writing a literature review.

Writing a Thesis or Dissertation

Writing a thesis can be a daunting task. Familiarizing yourself with the process of writing a thesis or dissertation can help you stay on track and succeed. The library has several books on how to write a thesis or dissertation to help you get started.

Adapting a Thesis or Dissertation into an Academic Journal Article

Upon completing your dissertation or thesis, publishing a scholarly article can be an important milestone. Adapting your thesis or dissertation into a journal article may be a valid option for many students and aspiring academics. 

Get Help:

Katie Pierce Farrier

Scholarly Communications & OER Librarian
Electronic Resources & Scholarly Communication