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History 356 -- Riggs

Tools and tips to locate secondary, primary and visual resources on Latin American history.

Internet Searches

After searching the library catalog and databases, you may want to try the internet. There are good and bad points to this. 

  • A LOT turns up in the result set unless you have a very carefully structured search phrase. 
  • Access does not equal quality or accuracy, you will need to evaluate the content as with any other source (see Secondary Sources main page for how to evaluate.) 
  • A hit does not guarantee you have access to the content (hello, Amazon!)
  • Content may only be in pieces due to copyright or author restrictions. 
  • Wading through unsuitable hits costs you time and effort and impacts your time to analyze your resources and write your paper! 


  • Strategize your search by using accurate and scholarly terms to describe your topic based on your prior research. 
  • Set up your Google Scholar Preferences to provide links to material we have at CSUSM.
  • Know that you may only find a citation and not the full text but you can request the item through Interlibrary Loan.
  • Be critical of what you find.
    • Check for authority of the author
    • Check that is it up-to-date information
    • Compare with other sources
    • Look for proof! Just because you see it in print does not mean it is legitimate. 
  • Ask for help! 

Here is how to set your Google Scholar Preferences to assist in accessing full text from the CSUSM collections.