Academic Success Centers & SMART Learning Commons (peer tutoring and more)
The Academic success centers website provides you with a variety of services to help you succeed at the University. Find peer tutors for your courses in SMART and MCAE, academic skills coaching, or get support with writing, research, or media projects.
These services are designed to:
- Boost your confidence as a student
- Help you stay on top of your coursework
- Offer a deeper understanding of the content
- Connect you to peers who know tips and tricks for various courses
- Teach you effective study strategies and time management
Tutorial: Academic Integrity: What is a scholar?
- Tutorial: What is a scholar?What does it mean to be a good scholar at the University of Minnesota? In this tutorial, learn the specifics of what is means to have academic integrity vs. scholastic dishonesty.
Tutorial: Academic Integrity: The rules of the scholarly conversation
Tutorial: Academic Integrity: The scholarly conversation
Getting started - planning and finding background info on topic
- Assignment CalculatorEnter in the due date for your research project (paper, speech, lab report) and get a suggested time-line for completing with links to the resources to help you succeed in each step.
Tips to manage your:
Finding Background Information
These online sources can help you to choose and refine your topic. They will also provide you with the background information and keywords and search terms.
- Encyclopedias and dictionariesHelp searching for encyclopedias and dictionaries for helpful overviews and brainstorming search terms
- CQ ResearcherCQ Researcher provides in-depth coverage of important issues of the day. Reports are written by experienced journalists, footnoted, and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide a solid introduction to subjects in demand.
- Opposing Viewpoints in ContextFind articles on current issues, including viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, magazine and newspaper articles.
Tutorial: Exploring a scholarly research article
Find articles from academic journals
- Academic Search PremierA great place to start your research on any topic, search multidisciplinary, scholarly research articles. This database provides access to scholarly and peer reviewed journals, popular magazines and other resources. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- Google Scholar (Setup connection to get to PDFs)Use Google Scholar to find articles from academic publishers, professional societies, research institutes, and scholarly repositories from colleges and universities. If you are using from off-campus access, change the "Library Settings" to University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Look for the "FindIt@U of M Twin Cities" links in your Google Scholar search results to access full text and PDFs. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- JSTORFind full text articles in academic journals or books on the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences. JSTOR provides articles from the journal's first issue. In some cases the most recent 2-5 years may not be available. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- ScopusSearch for information from scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. Covers the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities.
Find newspapers and magazines
- Ethnic NewsWatchEthnic NewsWatch is a current resource of full-text newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press from 1990, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives.
- U.S. Newsstream This link opens in a new windowSearch the most recent premium U.S. news content, as well as archives which stretch back into the 1980s featuring newspapers, newswires, blogs, and news sites in active full-text format.
Tutorial: What is a library database and why should I use one?
- Identify what a library database is
- Recognize the two main types of library databases
- Know why you should use them
- Understand why searching a library database is different than searching the general internet
Tutorial: Choosing a research paper topic
Tutorial: Creating an effective search strategy
Tutorial: What does it mean to be a scholarly source?
Citing your sources (e.g. MLA, APA, etc.)
- Citation Managers (e.g. Zotero, EndNote Online, etc.)Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to: import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources; save links to pdfs and other documents; format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles; and include your own notes.
Many article databases (e.g. Academic Search Premier, Google Scholar) will create a citation for you. After you found the item, look for "cite" or "quotes." Here are examples:
In Google Scholar:
In Academic Search Premier:
- Citation and research help (from Purdue OWL)Examples and instructions for how to cite many types of materials in MLA, APA, Chicago, and AMA styles.
|Zotero||Mendeley||EndNote 20||EndNote Online|
|Styles||Many citation styles||Many citation styles||Many citation styles||Fewer citation styles|
|Plug-ins||Microsoft Word||Microsoft Word||Microsoft Word||Microsoft Word|
|Storage||300MB free||2GB free||Unlimited||2GB free|
|Editor integration||Word, Google Docs||Word||Word||Word|
|Support||Zotero support||Mendeley support||EndNote 20 support||EndNote Online support|
Zotero is a free, open-source citation manager that:
- imports and organizes citations and PDFs;
- recognizes and creates citations for wide range of file types;
- formats citations in thousands of styles including APA and Chicago;
- easily adds in-text citations to Word and Google Doc documents, and creates a bibliography from those citations;
- allows you to add notes to your citation information for later use.
Tutorial: Evaluating sources
Evaluating Web Resources
When searching for information on the Internet, it is important to be aware of the quality of the information being presented to you. Keep in mind that anyone can host a web site. To be sure that the information you are looking at is credible and of value keep the following criteria in mind:
Is it clear who is responsible for the contents of the page? Try to find out who are the authors of the Web page. Is it an organization, society, governmental site? Is it sponsored by an educational institution or is it someone's personal site? Or, is it a commercial site where someone is selling something? Do the authors of the site have any qualifications to go with the information they are presenting? Does the site present any other way of contacting the site authors -- postal address, phone numbers?
Are the sources for any factual information listed so that you can verify them in another source? How well put together is the site -- does it have spelling errors, typos, etc.? Are any charts, diagrams, statistical information clearly labeled as to where the data source came from?
Is this information being provided as part of a public service? How much, if any, advertising is there on the page? Is the advertising content clearly separate from the informational content? Does the author of the page state any bias for producing the page, such as an advocacy for a particular point of view or program?
When was the last time the page itself was updated? Are there any indications on how often the informational content is updated?
How well designed or user-friendly is the site? If it contains images, are they useful, load quickly or merely take up space. Can it be viewed as text-only? Does it contain a “search the site” function?
- .org = non-profit organization
- .edu = us educational institution
- .info = commercial
- .tv = television
- .gov = US government
- .mil = US military
- .biz = business
- .museum = museums
- .com = commercial site
- .net = network resources
- .name = personal sites