Energy and Petroleum Engineering


When doing research the most important thing to do is to stay organized. Cite sources as you use them and manage your citations in folders. Bookmark the pages you need to refer to and always make sure you get information from reliable sources. Don't be afraid to question the source's bias and their conclusions. 

Conduct backward and forward searches.

  • A backward search is a search of the citations of the references you used. If you find an article particularly useful, check through the article's references list to find more information relevant to your topic.

  • A forward search is a search of the articles which cite an article you use. If an article has a high impact factor (it has been widely cited) then there will be a large pool of relevant articles which you can search through to find more information.

Citing your work

Under the University Policy and Rules for Academic Dishonesty, Cheating and Plagiarism UMass Lowell defines plagiarism as: 

1). Direct quotation or word-for-word copying of all part of the work of another without identification and acknowledgement of the quoted work. 
2). Extensive use of acknowledged quotations from the work of others joined together by a few words or lines of one's own text. 
3). An abbreviated restatement of someone else's analysis or conclusion, however skillfully paraphrased, without acknowledgement that another person's text has been the basis for the recapitulation. 
University of Massachusetts Lowell. Academic Rules and Regulations. Academic Dishonesty, Cheating, and Plagiarism: Click Here to Access Directly. Accessed September 9, 2009.

What is citing?

Citing a source provides the reader with the information necessary to easily identify and find the source you are referring to. A citation contains specific information and typically includes: author, book or article title, date and publisher for books and and journal title, volume, date and pages for journals.
See Introduction to Citations:

Tips For Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Keep careful records and notes.

  • Get in the habit of writing down the full citation.

  • Always include the citation information in your notes and first draft.

  • ALWAYS use quotations marks for direct quotes.

  • Clearly mark things that you have paraphrased or intend to paraphrase, indicating which is which.

  • Print or photocopy the source you are using, and double check that your have not accidently plagiarized before submitting your work.

  • When paraphrasing, read the original, put it out of sight, and write the ideas down in your own words.

More information about plagiarism, what it is and how to avoid it, can be found at