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HIS 131 - American History I: How to do Research in History

This course is a survey of American history from pre-history through the Civil War era. Topics include the migrations to the Americas, the colonial and revolutionary periods, the development of the Republic, and the Civil War.

All-in-One Search

 

 Databases | Classic Catalog | Remote Access | Help                                

 

 Databases | Classic Catalog | Remote Access | Help                                

 

 Databases | Classic Catalog | Remote Access | Help                                

 

 Databases | Classic Catalog | Remote Access | Help                                

Introduction

 

You need a credible source for your general interest or to do some background reading to get keywords Newspapers, magazines, credible websites, documentary films
You need to do general research a topic (eg Civil War nurses, the Aztecs, French Revolution, Joan of Arc) Books, ebooks, reference materials (encyclopedias, secondary or tertiary sources)
You need a scholarly article for an assignment Online Databases from Library's page

It's All About the Keywords - History Style

The key to a successful search is keywords. You will have to see what combination of keywords gives you the best results.

For example in the Proquest Central

  • the keywords "French Revolution" give you 104,229 results. Note the keywords "French Revolution" are in quotations to hold the words together. Without the quotes you'll get over 554,000 results.
  • "French Revolution" AND Bastille gives you 8,498 results. Note the AND is in all caps. That is a Boolean Search term and tells the search machine in the database that you only want records that contain BOTH terms.
  • To further narrow you can add more words such as "French Revolution" AND Bastille AND monarchy.
  • If you aren't certain of the search terms you can use OR. Such as Napoleon or Waterloo (61,000 results)
  • If you are getting results you don't want, try a NOT. For example, Napoleon NOT Waterloo (21,000 results)

 

Can It Pass the Credibility Test?

Using the CRAP Test to Find Credible Resources

Look for these criteria to determine if you have a credible resource. If you are unsure, you should investigate. Still have concerns??? Find another resource.

   

 

 

  • CURRENCY How recently was this information published/posted? Can you find a publication date?
  • RELIABILITY:  Is the information supported by evidence? Can it be confirmed by other sources?
  • AUTHORITY:  Who wrote the information - are they an expert or knowledgeable in their field? (i.e. For health information, did a doctor or nurse write it? For science information, did a scientist or researcher write it?)
  • PURPOSE / POINT OF VIEW:  Why was it written? To sell something? To sway opinion? Is it biased toward a particular point of view?

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Credible Websites for History Research

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