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HIST 5370 - Shepherd

Research guide for students in History 5370.

Course Description

HIST 5370 Research Seminar in U.S. History

Dr. Jeff Shepherd

This graduate course is open to original research projects from all topics, themes, and time-periods in U.S. history, conceived broadly. This course is particularly useful for students working on an extended MA Paper, MA Thesis, possible chapter in a dissertation, or for students hoping to publish an article.


Getting Started with Research

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Quality, graduate-level research takes time. Start early.
  • Always start with a keyword search in the library catalog. You might need to refine your search terms or do multiple keyword searches.
  • 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).
  • Take careful notes when reviewing primary and secondary sources.
  • Make sure to document where images, quotes, ideas, etc. came from.
  • Be prepared to visit multiple libraries and archives - sometimes in different cities or countries.
  • Order books via Interlibrary Loan in advance of any deadlines.
  • Proofread your papers carefully.

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