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Research Assistant: Organizing Research

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Generating Citations

Tools such as Zotero or Mendelay (below) can help you quickly generate a reference list.

Research Logs

Research logs collect resources, citations, notes, and other essential information to help organize large research projects. Many RA projects are of a large enough scope to require a research log. Here are some aspects to include:

  • Search terms/phrases used to access the source.
  • Usefulness: Indicate what help the resource provided. Also indicate if it wasn’t helpful, so that you know you’ve been there and don’t need to go back.
  • Relevant citation(s): Copy the relevant citations that you obtained from the resource (ex: useful footnotes).
  • Date accessed: The date that you accessed the resource
  • Check for updates:
    • Secondary Sources – when was it last updated?
    • Primary Law – is it still good law?
  • Any other information you would like to save!

RESOURCE

SEARCH TERMS

USEFULNESS

DATE ACCESSED

UPDATES

 

 

Research logs can be created in Excel or Word format, depending on which method makes the most sense to you. 

Managing Results

Many tools exist to help you save and organize your search results, consolidate duplicates, and produce a final reference list in (semi-accurate) Bluebook format.