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History: Getting Started

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!

Citation Resources

Different professions have their own requirements for documentation and publish their own style manuals.  At HACC three styles are used by faculty in various disciplines:

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Council of Science Editors (CSE)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)

‚ÄčAsk your professor which style they would like you to use, and get help citing your sources on the Citation Guide

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