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Get your tools together


Over the course of creating your argument, you'll to prepare a few tools, organize your files and use a few templates.


Get started by doing the following:


  • Download and get familiar with a reference manager like Sente to keep track of your references.
  • I would also recommend an outlining tool like OmniOutliner -- this will allow you to summarize sources and create and rearrange outlines quickly, which you will need to do at various stages.  You can use a word processor for this, but it's not as nice. 
  • Setup VPN so that you have Northwestern access when searching academic publishers


  • Create a folder on your computer called "Lit Notes" (or something) where you will save all your summaries of different sources



  • The material from this guide is taken from Arguing from Sources -- a book for college students on how to do a literature review based on a task analysis of an expert researcher. Unfortunately the book is out of print, but fortunately you can use this scan.