The “No Stress” Sticker from Morton Fox’s flickr photostreamYou’re a Hopkins student, which means you’re smart, savvy, and over worked … especially this time of year. There are exams to study for, projects due, and papers to write. It’s easy to fall behind. Occasionally, all of your good intentions and planning fly out the window and you find yourself starting a paper 24 hours before it’s due.

Are you in this situation? Have a paper due tomorrow and don’t know where to start looking for research? If you’re answer is yes, here are a few tips:


1. Take a deep breath. It’s okay. It’s easier to think clearly once you’re calm.

2. Look at your assignment. Think about the question being asked, the subject, and the requirements. For instance, the longer and more detailed the assignment, the more research you’ll probably need. And if your professor asked that you use peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles for evidence, you’ll probably want to use electronic databases.

3. Brainstorm search terms.

4. Choose where to start researching. Are you looking for books? Then search the library catalog. Looking for journal articles? Try looking for electronic resources by subject. Still confused? The library also has research guides to help you get started. A good place to start looking for research is one of the multi-disciplinary databases JHU subscribes to like Academic Search Premier or Scopus.

Academic Search Premier is a large academic multi-disciplinary database indexing and providing full text or articles for more than 4,700 publications. It includes full text for more than 3,600 peer-reviewed journals.

Scopus is an abstracts and citation database including over 15,000 journals. Conference proceedings, book chapters, book series, and some open access sites are also included. Scopus focuses on science, engineering, and medicine, but includes some social science information, too.

Need more help? There’s a librarian in the Research Consultation Office (behind the Information Desk on M-Level of Eisenhower) from 10 am – 9 pm on Mondays – Thursdays; 10 am - 5 pm on Fridays; and 1 pm – 5 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Alternately, you can contact a subject librarian or Ask a Librarian, MSEL’s email reference service.

Good luck with that paper and all of your finals.


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