Recommended Strategy to Begin Your Research
Before you begin doing the actual research, you might want to use the template for a Primary Sources Research Project from the University of Minnesota's Assignment Calculator to see out how much time you have to complete each phase of the research project. Although you can't create a project dateline (only for U of M students), you can see the percentage of the time you should take for each step and figure the dates from that. Of course, always defer to your professor's deadlines!
Begin your research by reading some background information about your topic. Make a list of key people, dates, and terms relating to your topic. Check out the facets of your topic using the Concept Map tool or find a topic page on CredoReference.
Tip: Start your research with secondary sources. See which primary sources were used by the authors of the secondary sources, and then try to track them down.
Determine other types of primary sources to use:
- Find digitized primary source collections on the web (see list on Primary Sources tab)
- Find published primary sources using the online catalog.
Follow Rampolla's* advice:
- Remember to ask those detective questions: Who? What? Where? When? and Why?
- Try to discover the context in which an event occurred.
- Examine the causes of an event.
- Ask questions about the relationship between the continuity of ideas, institutions, and conditions and changes that have occurred.
* Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (Boston: Bedford/St Martin's, 2012) 3-4.
Collection Development Librarian
1014 Boswell Ave.
Crete NE 68333
Get one-on-one help from a librarian by scheduling an appointment. Go to the Research Assistance Request Form, fill it out, then bring the resources you've already gathered along with all your questions about your research. The librarian will do some pre-searching from your request form and help answer your questions.