Answered By: Dave
Last Updated: Aug 21, 2023     Views: 156

Good idea to save your articles to a shared Google drive. Here's a few more tips to keep your research organized. Two ideas:

1) Keep all your research on your computer hard drive or Google drive. 

  • Put all your articles into one shared drive called ARTICLES. Or if you're working alone put all your articles in one folder called ARTICES on your computer's hard drive. 
  • When you save the full text as a PDF (preferred) or Word Doc, or a Google doc, label each file with three kinds of information
    • First, the last name of the 1st author
    • Second, 5-10 words of the title
    • Third, year of publication
  • Create a Word document (or shared Google doc) that is not your final paper but a NOTES document. At the top, middle type a brief title and then the letters NOTES and save the file with that name. 
  • On the next line, left margin, put the day's date
  • On the next line, left margin, put the word Outline and try to create your basic outline of your paper and fill it in as you move along
  • Next bring up the first article you need to read. Copy the article's title and use it to find it's citation by. . .
    • going to the library's main page at, paste the title in the Search Everything box. Click Search. The first or second record should be the article. On the top right, click on the button "Cite," click the drop down menu and find your citation style, copy the citation and paste it in your NOTES document. 
    • Or going to Google Scholar at, paste the title in the single box, click Search, in the record at the bottom line click on "Cite" and a box opens with 5 citation styles of that article. Copy and paste into your NOTES document. 
    • Or going to an EBSCOHost database we own (go to, click the tab "Articles and Databases" click the link All Databases (A-Z), scroll down and click on Academic Search Premier, be authenticated with your User Net ID and Password, at the top of the three boxes click "Choose Databases," click the box next to Select, then click OK, paste the title in the first box and click Search. The article should be at the top of the results. Click the title, in the full record on the right click Cite and a box opens with six citation styles, scroll down to yours and copy the citation and paste it in your NOTES document.
  •  Note: all citations are computer generated and may be slightly wrong. Check the citation style format by checking with one of APU's citation LibGuides or go to Purdue's Online Writing Lab for your style. 
  • Next put the full text article on one side of your computer screen and your NOTES doc on the other. In the full text document do a Control F for PCs or a Command F for Macs, to open a search box. To save time reading the entire document just type a word that's important to your research and find it's location. Read that area and copy quotes and paste them in the NOTES document. Don't forget to put the page number (p. 25) before the quote. If not page numbers put the closest heading and number of paragraphs (Methodology, para. 5). 
  • Do this for each article. When done read your NOTES, organize by themes, use highlight color, firm up outline. 
  • Finally, open a new Word document to write your paper, make it fit the style you need (examples: APA Template 7th ed. for student papers or APA 7 Student Paper from Purdue's OWL). 

2) Use a Citation Manager to keep all your research in one place that allows you to create documents in any citation style and share with others.


  • For Zotero (always free) click here.
  • Best if used with Firefox
  • This Library Guide explains how to download and install Zotero on your Mac or PC and how to install the “connector” in your browser.

I believe that's it. Please let me know if you need any further assistance. 

Dave Harmeyer

626-815-6000, ext. 3255

Make a Zoom appointment