This course guide introduces students to the library research process for finding primary sources, secondary sources, archives, and other relevant material required to write a historical analysis for a 4th year paper.
Pick a Research topic
- Read your syllabus and course assignment instructions carefully
- Pick a topic that interests you and meets the criteria of the assignment
- Need extra help? Click on Choosing an essay topic
Do an initial search on Wikipedia for background knowledge
- Wikipedia will also help you to broaden your search terms
- Watch the video, Using Wikepedia Wisely
Identify key concepts/ideas/themes by consulting online or print encyclopedias
Basic Searching Techniques for Omni to find journal articles or books
1. Identify the main concepts of your research topic and brainstorm possible keywords.
2. Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to combine keywords and enhance your search. Boolean operators are command words and must be capitalized when searching Omni. Begin searching for material with Omni, the library's main search box, to find journal articles or books and other sources on your topic. Remember to filter your search by content type for each new search.
- Use AND to combine topics - Inquisition AND "New Spain" AND trials
- Use OR to between related words or synonyms - (censorship OR suppression)
- Use NOT to exclude terms; confession NOT reconciliation
- Use quotation marks to search for phrases: "New Spain"
- Use the asterisk* for word endings to broaden your search: mystic* = mystics, mystical, mysticism
- Use the question mark ? for single character wildcard - wom?n - for woman, women
3. Here are the filters for finding peer reviewed journal articles:
- Peer reviewed Journals
4. Here are the filters for finding books (monographs):
- Print/Physical Item
- Books (or Book Chapters)
- Inquisito - manuscript and print sources for the study of Inquisitions history (U of Notre Dame)
- Internet Archive
- Jewish Wikipedia - Inquisition Records and Archives
- Library of Congress - Spanish Legal Documents (15th-19th centuries)
- A short guide to writing about history (print only)
- Essaying the past; how to read, write and think about history
- Going to the sources: a guide to historical research and writing
Citation Management Tools
- See the Citation Management web page