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K-12 Teacher's Guide to the Library: High School Visit Resources


Welcome to the UW Libraries!

We are excited to have you on campus for your visit today. This page provides tips on searching for information and evaluating information.

WYLD Resources

You can use these research and library resources anywhere in Wyoming! 

Key Terms

Some key terms to help you get started with finding resources

  • Organize library resources by grouping similar information together and you can search databases using keywords 
  • For example, a psychology related database organizes psychology journal articles and other materials
  • QuickSearch is UW Libraries main way to search (98%) for the items in our collection
  • You can find books, scholarly articles, newspapers, and much more by using the filters on the left-hand side of the search results
Scholarly, peer-reviewed articles:
  • Written by academic experts in a specific field and their work is reviewed by other experts before its published
  • Usually contain an abstract, introduction, methodology (how the research was conducted), conclusion, and references used by the authors
Popular sources:
  • Written by journalists or others with knowledge on a specific topics
  • Could be a magazine, newspaper, trade magazine, professional organization publication, or other online media source
Reference sources:
  • Written by academic experts who provide background information and/or basic information on a topic
  • These are often called "tertiary sources" as they combine information from primary sources and secondary sources to present a short introduction to a topic or provide basic facts
Other sources you may use:
  • You may need to use government documents, statistics, primary sources (like historical documents), or images
  • These can be found in library resources or online through Google or another search engine

Identifying and Using Keywords

Before jumping into searching, it's important to have a game plan. One strategy is to make a concept map and brainstorm keywords to use when searching. You can do this with a piece of paper and a pencil, online using a concept map creator like, or using a mobile app like Notability or MindMeister.

Boolean Operators

General/Interdisciplinary Databases

You can search these general databases to find information on a variety of topics:

Background information sources:

IF I APPLY: A Tool for Evaluating Sources

IF I APPLY steps

Personal Steps:

Identify emotions attached to topic.

Find reference sources and evaluate bias for a proper view of the topic


Intellectual courage to seek authoritative voices on topics that may be outside of thesis.

Source steps:

Authority established. Does the author have education and experience in that field?

Purpose/point of view of source. Does the author have an agenda beyond education or information?

Publisher. Does the publisher have an agenda?

List of sources (bibliography). Is the evidence sound?

Year of publication. Does the year of publication affect the information?

How to Skim a Scholarly Article: Triage Method

How to Skim a Scholarly Article: Triage Method

  1. Abstract: Quickly skim the Abstract of the article for your keywords and/or words related to your research topic. If the source seems relevant to your research, move on to the next step.
  2. Introduction: Next, skim the Introduction of the article. Note any keywords and synonyms for your keywords. If the Introduction passes inspection, move on to the next step.
  3. Conclusion: Read the Conclusion of the article and note what the article is arguing and whether it is relevant for your research topic/question.
  4. Body: Now, go back and skim the body text of the article. Use the Find function (CTRL/Command+F) to locate keywords and relevant synonyms throughout the article.
  5. Bibliography: Skim the Bibliography portion and open links to additional sources that look relevant to your research. Note any relevant sources and save them for later.
  6. Congratulations! If you've made it this far and the article still seems relevant to your research, there is a very good chance that it is a useful source for your research assignment.