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Design Project Seminar (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

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The Point of this Guide

This guide was created to help you create a better background section in your report. Many sources that enable you to find literature are provided.  There are tutorials that have been designed to save you time by teaching you to use these sources effectively. There is information to help you decide what literature is best to choose for your report and how to cite this literature as quick and easy as possible.

With this guide, you will be able to

  • find information from various sources including articles, books, technical reports, and patents about the
    • basic theories pertaining to your project and
    • current technologies related to your project;
  • select the best literature to promote and analyze your project;
  • write an effective background section that promotes your project and seeks its validity while avoiding common student errors; and
  • cite references appropriately and easily.

Don't Know where to Start with your Research?

Subject or Course Guides are a great place to go to find out about a subject.

ZipSearch searches several of our databases and catalogs simultaneously, but it shouldn't be used in-depth research like your senior project. You won't find everything that you need with it.

thumbs upGood use – Find one article to review for a class project.

thumbs downPoor use – Perform a background search for your report.

Use the databases directly for in-depth research on a topic. If you know exactly what book, DVD, etc. that you want, use the UA Libraries Catalog directly.

*Images provided by Microsoft Clip Art

How do I Find Articles on a Topic?

Want to perform a more thorough search than ZipSearch? Use the Finding Articles & Books page of this guide. Use the descriptions to find the databases that contain articles that are most closely related to your topic. A few useful databases/webpages are listed below. They are a good place to start:

How do I Find Technical Reports?

There are sources of free technical reports. If the report is not available full text, try interlibrary loan. If you need help, please contact me.

Google Patent Search

Searches the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office; however, it does not necessarily find all the patents in the these databases.
Google Patent Search

How do I Find a Specific Article?

Do you know where the Article is (what journal, conference, volume, pages, etc)? Use the UA Libraries Catalog. opens new window

Need a Specific Article that Can't be Downloaded and is not in our Library? Try

How do I get an Article from Interlibrary Loan?

Using the Request through interlibrary loan hyperlink.

When you use the Full Text Finder button from one of our databases, the Request through interlibrary loan hyperlink could be the only one that appears. Some databases will have this hyperlink listed directly on the search results. In these cases, you don't have to select the Full Text Finder button first.

Either way, the form will partially fill out for you. Be sure to check the information is right – The more correct the information you give them, the faster you will get the article. After you select the hyperlink, you will need to log on using your UANet ID and password.

Getting your Article

Interlibrary loan will get the article for you if they can. If they can get a copy, you will get an email when your article is ready. If they can't get a copy, you will get an email letting you know as well.

Filling out the Interlibrary Loan Request Form

If you did not find your article from a database and we do not have it, fill out the interlibrary loan opens new window form. An example of how to fill out the About my item section when requesting an article is

Journal Title: *

Journal of Nanoelectronics and Optoelectronics

Published Date:






Page Numbers: *

260 - 264

Title of the article: *

Nanocrystalline GaZnO films for transparent electrode to silicon carbide

Author of article:

Jungho Lee, Ji-Hong, Kim, Kang-Min Do, Byung-Moo Moon, Ji-Hoon Lee, Sang-Mo Koo







Where did you learn about this item?


Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

How to Access Electronic Resources Off-Campus?