2.Decide how you'll manage your research materials

Citation Software

Trust us: you don't want to make your thesis bibliography by hand, or mess with formatting footnotes, in-text citations and explanatory text.  Theses these days are not just built from books and articles: you may be using all kinds of additional sources in atypical formats or with idiosyncratic ways of identifying themselves.  When the thesis crunch time hits, stressing about the nuances of APA or the order of elements in MLA or Chicago styles is the last thing you'll need. 

So don't go too long without choosing a good citation software program. We always recommend Zotero, though if you're using BibTeX or EndNote already, stick with those programs.  . 

If you've never used citation software, like Zotero, now's the time to explore. If you've made a Zotero  account but not used it much, now's the time to get a refresher.   And if you're using it but aren't quite sure you're using it well and to maximum benefit, now's the time to troubleshoot with us! 

Zotero classes run all semester long, at various times, both in-person and online. Register for one here

Or ask us questions about Zotero anytime via ask.library.harvard.edu