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History 9B: find sources

Research Project Guide for History 9B

Research Strategy

A good way to scaffold your research is to begin with broader sources and then move to more narrow sources. This way, you'll be developing more expertise and understanding to help you sift through more narrow sources. (Research Pie!)

  1. Start with reference overviews from encyclopedias
  2. Next, find book chapters or excerpts on your topic
  3. Then, begin searching for articles and pertinent websites
  4. Finally, tackle primary sources.

Reference Sources

Why start with reference sources?

Reference sources like encyclopedias offer great overviews and are a good place to begin research.

Articles

Articles come in many forms. Newspaper articles are often considered primary sources. Magazine and journal articles are typically secondary sources, and they are great to reference when you are researching.

It is best to wait to search for articles after you've done quite a bit of research on background information and in books. By now, you'll have a better idea of what you are looking for.

proquest tips

Newspapers

Primary Sources

Primary sources can be found in varied places depending on your topic. Here are some ideas:

  • Historical newspapers in Proquest (limit by date or select historical newspapers from source type)
  • Artwork or photographs in ArtStor
  • Video footage and documentaries from Alexander Street Academic video online
  • For fashion: articles of clothing are primary sources, for manga and anime: manga and anime are primary sources, for films or filmmakers: the films are primary sources, for architects or architecture: a photo or blueprint of the building is a primary source, etc.
  • Search the internet for your topic keywords and add a primary source word:
    • sumo "oral history"
    • Kurosawa "letters"
    • butoh "interview"
  • Email Sarah or your teacher for more ideas