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If you get zip, try thinking of alternate terms, synonyms, slang etc. Usually you get way too much, because in our haste to get everything online, we've indexed everything to death.So a search on alligators turns up everything from wildlife to recipes.
Consult the online catalog first to see what's available. Sign out those library books and copy those journal articles early on in the process, or you may find some prof has absconded with the only copy of your best source, and good luck getting it back before Christmas.
Or some bozo has neatly cut out every article on your hot topic (which, by an odd coincidence, was the hot topic for thirty other students just last semester). If you have a specific title or author, it's pretty easy to type it in an online catalog or database, and see what happens.
It can take several weeks to get the material you need from another library.
As the semester progresses, and more students and faculty gradually realize they also need this service, it quickly slows down under the load.
cloning of animals, unexpected social problems that might result from cloning, technical aspects of cloning, moral or religious issues related to cloning, cloning my girlfriend or boyfriend, etc.). Otherwise, those interesting related issues you delved into might end up looking like window dressing, added only to bring the paper up to its required minimum length. A good library always has a good professional staff, trained to be courteous and helpful, and bright enough to genuinely care about a LOT of topics, and who will expertly direct your search to the right place.
Profs see enough fluff that they generally smell it a mile away. Unfortunately, librarians are merely human, working long thankless hours for low pay, so a little patience on your part will go a long way.
Every system has a different "wild card" character (usually a ? Not Every Library Has Every Book Or Journal, or every issue of every journal.
Find out what sources are NOT available locally, but potentially valuable to your paper.
But it actually does help, especially in the early stages of your paper, by forcing you to come to terms with what you want to say about your topic. If you find that person, the path to the information you will need to graduate will be smoothly paved, and may even turn out to be full of interesting roadside attractions. Each page of your term paper should have around 1-3 references per page, as a general rule of thumb.
It can also show you where you will need to apply your research time, and reveal major deficiencies in your approach to your topic. So figure for ten pages, about 10-15 references and so on.