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History Research Guide: Getting Started

First Steps

Before you begin your research there a a few things to reflect upon and determine:

  • What is the nature of the assignment? Is it a paper, project, or presentation?
  • Have you been assigned a topic or do you need to develop one?
    • If you need to develop a topic, how will you go about it?
  • Once you have a topic ask yourself, "What are the questions I need to answer?"
  • What is the scope of the assignment; how much information will you need?
  • What type of information is needed? Primary? Secondary? Both?
  • Where should you look for the needed information?
  • How will you find the needed information? What search terms and strategy will you use?
  • How will you organize your paper, project, or presentation?
    • Create an outline to help keep your product organized.
    • Keep track of your references/citations.
    • Use a consistent citation style.

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