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HIST 2001 - Historical Writing

This guide is intended as a point to departure for research in history. You will find search strategies and writing resources to help guide you through your HIST 2001 writing project.

The Pre-Search

Historical research, like all other types of research, starts with a topic that you are interested in. From this interest you formulate research questions and eventually a thesis statement for your paper. But these “steps” do not happen in a neat order, nor do they happen sequentially. Rather, they happen in cycles of research and evaluation that occurs over and over during the research and writing process.

Because of the nature of your HIST 2001 class project, you will enter the class with a thesis statement already written and sources already discovered, as well as feedback from your originating Professor. Your goal then is to push your writing further based off feedback to enter a more advanced stage of research. However, it may be beneficially to revisit the foundations and gather more contextual information to build your revisions on.

This is what the pre-search is intended to do.

Pre-Search Databases and Dictionaries

During the pre-search stage, the sources you use are not the same ones you will use in the research stage. Rather, pre-search sources are encyclopedias, historical dictionaries, and yes, even Google.