Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Quality historical research takes time. Start early.
- You will probably start with a broader topic and then narrow it to fit your assignments.
- Always start with a keyword search in the library catalog. You might need to refine your search terms or do multiple keyword searches. See the "Advanced Searching" tab for more information.
- Truncate words if needed and use Boolean search terms if needed (and, or, not).
- To find primary sources, use search terms like personal narratives, sources, documents, memoirs, and autobiography.
- Click on appropriate Library of Congress subject headings in catalog records to find more sources.
- Consult an archivist or library subject specialist.
- If possible, call or email an archivist before you visit an archives or special collections department.
- Start with secondary sources (i .e. books, scholarly articles, encyclopedias) for context and literature reviews.
- Mine bibliographies of secondary sources (i.e. see what sources historians used).
- Pay attention to authors: if one name keeps coming up in all your searches, that may be an important scholar in the field.
- After reviewing secondary sources, proceed to studying primary sources.
- Take careful notes when reviewing primary and secondary sources.
- Make sure to document where images, quotes, ideas, etc. came from.
- Proofread your work carefully.
To view UTEP Library resource and research tutorials, click here.
To learn about using archives, click here.
To view a short video about how to use UTEP Special Collections, click here.