History: A Research Guide
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Update: June 10, 1997 | Suggestion
One of the goals of this research guide is to inform serious
researchers of the
tools available for extensive literature searches. However, these tools
are described in different locations within the guide. The Thesis
Checklist simply lists the most important of these tools on a single
- Agree on a topic with your advisor. Ask her about appropriate sources
to begin reading.
- Find a copy of a good general guide that takes you through the steps
of researching and writing a thesis. The following titles are excellent:
Mauch, James E., and Jack W. Birch. Guide to the Successful Thesis
and Dissertation. 3rd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1993.
- Become familiar with American Women's History: An Online Research
Guide. It describes in more detail the various tools noted below, and
cites key reference works that serve as useful starting points in the
- Search Dissertation
Abstracts to determine
if anyone has already completed a thesis/dissertation on your topic.
- Search your local library catalog.
- Search America: History & Life for journal articles and for
dissertations. Although book titles are also covered in this database,
some of the databases listed below generally provide better coverage.
- Search WorldCat for books, dissertations & theses,
and manuscript collections.
- Search Arts & Humanities Citation Index While searching the
other databases, as well as in your reading, note key authors and book
titles. This database allows one to determine which sources cited such
authors and titles.
- Pay close attention to the notes and bibliography sections of books
and articles you are reading.
- After completing the above steps, post your research topic to an
listserv. Note the sources you have already tried.
- If at any point you are having trouble, ask local librarians and
archivists for assistance.
They may know of additional bibliographies and other sources that the
databases noted above do not cover.
American Women's History: A Research
Ken Middleton firstname.lastname@example.org
Todd Library, Middle Tennessee State