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Health Information Management Research Guide

Citing & Writing Support


Writing and Research Tools: Notebook, Laptop, an Smartphone



  1. Cite your sources. — The APA style is commonly used in the HIM field. Here are helpful online guides.

  2. Know what plagiarism is and avoid it in your writing ... Likewise, always use copyrighted materials ethically and legally.

  3. Proofread before submitting a final version of a paper, assignment, report, resume, etc. ... Review grammar and writing tips here:

  4. Follow good business and technical writing practices — as appropriate for healthcare settings.

  5. Get writing support. — At San Diego Mesa College, writing help is available in person and online.  Connect with the Writing Center located in the Library/Learning Resource Center building.



General Research Tips


Magnifying glass held over text that spells out the word "research."



  1. Evaluate your sources -- quality matters.

  2. Use professional and scholarly resources, as appropriate for college and workplace projects.

  3. Scan all research tool options and select the best database for your topic and resource type requirements.  Also, don't limit yourself to one database only.  Searching a variety can be worth it.

  4. Try out common advanced searching techniques to save time and improve your database search results:
    • Use database "LIMIT" features to focus your search.  (e.g., limit to full text only, scholarly journals, specific dates, etc.).
    • Use quotes to tell most databases to search your keywords as an exact phrase.  (e.g., type "health information management" or "patient safety" with the surrounding quotes).
    • Explore each database's "Advanced Search" and "Help" menus for additional search options and tips.
    • Take advantage of other tools built into most database platforms (e.g., PRINT, EMAIL, CITE, and PERMALINK functions).
    • Remember that refining (narrowing, broadening, refocusing) your research topic and keyword concepts — as you run test searches and evaluate the supporting resources available — is a normal part of the research process.

  5.  If you get stuck, have questions, or would like research assistance, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the campus reference librarian team.  We are here for you.  Ask us.