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History

How to use this guide

Historical illustration of an historic battle

Some Things to Keep in Mind...

This guide is designed to provide a starting point for researching topics dealing with history from all times and places.  The resources listed are in both print and online formats.

  • Your professor might ask you to use a "primary source." Check out the "Primary Sources" tab of this guide for some examples.
  • For background information (encyclopedias and other reference books), use the " Reference Resources" tab.
  • For secondary sources, use the "Books" and "Databases" tabs.
  • Books are especially strong sources for many  History topics!

Historical Research and Writing

The Information-Literate Historian: a guide to research for history students

The Information-Literate Historian is the only book specifically designed to teach today's history students how to successfully select and use sources-primary, secondary, and electronic-to carry out and present their research.

The Historian's Toolbox

Written in an engaging and entertaining style, this widely-used how-to guide introduces readers to the theory, craft, and methods of history and provides a series of tools to help them research and understand the past. The tools include documents, primary and secondary sources, maps, and much more.

A Pocket Guide to Writing in History

A Pocket Guide to Writing in History is the concise, trusted, and easy-to-use guide for the writing and research skills needed in undergraduate history courses. Now thoroughly updated to reflect the 2017 Chicago guidelines, the ninth edition ensures that students have the most up-to-date advice and ample instruction for conducting responsible research.

A Short Guide to Writing about History

An ideal complement for any history course, 'A Short Guide to Writing about History' helps you learn how to think and write like an historian.

Tips on Research and Scholarly Writing

Use the CRAAP Test method to determine if a web resource is right for you. Evaluate sources based on the following points:
CRAAP MethodCRAAP Method

  • Currency: When was the information published? Is it up to date?
  • Relevance: Is the information what you're really looking for? Who is the material written for: academics, professionals, students, or the general public?
  • Authority: Who published, wrote, or edited the information? Is the author an expert on the topic?
  • Accuracy: Is the information reliable and accurate? Do other sources verify this information?
  • Purpose: What is the purpose of the information? Is it biased to one point of view?

 

 

Evaluating Information - Applying the CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test developed by the Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.

 

 

 

 

Definition: In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledg­ing its source.

While some types of writing aren't as concerned with documenting sources, ideas, images, sounds, etc. traditional academic writing requires these best practices.

Sources: wpacouncil.org and owl.english.purdue.edu

 

For more information:

Try these to get more specific or broader results

Wild Card

  • Use a * to include forms or variants of words in your search
  • Example: type test* to search for test, testing, tests

Adding a ~

  • Adding a tilde (~) to your search term will return related terms.
  • Example: ~nutrition will search also nutrition, food and health

Adding a -

  • Adding a negative (-) to your search term will take away that term in your search.
  • Example: Pets -cats will not find web sites that focus upon cats as pets.

Phrase Search

  • By inserting quotes around an exact phase, you will search only the words you type in, in that exact order with no words in between term.
  • Example: "consumer product chemistry"

Boolean Operators

  • Using AND, OR, NOT can broaden or narrow a search depending on your inquiry. "AND" will give you results that contain both words. "OR" will give results about either word and "NOT" will not search the term preceding.
  • Example: Summer AND Flower, Summer OR Flower, Summer NOT flower