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History 301 - Strathman

Welcome to History research!

Oak trees planted in front of Craven Hall 1995-09-04.

Overhead view of the Van Ness Twin Oaks being planted in front of Craven Hall. September 4, 1995. Used with permission from the University Archives Image Library, Special Collections, University Library, California State University, San Marcos.

Welcome to your History 301 course guide!  You may explore the various links on the left side of this page to find books, ebooks, journal articles, and more resources essential to successful research. 

As no guide will include every possible resource you need for your specific topic, do not hesitate to reach out for help from me or your professor. You see my contact information to the right with email and chat options. If you have a complex question or need to search multiple resources, we will set up an appointment via Zoom. 

We may be doing everything remotely but that should not stop you from finding the primary and secondary sources essential to a good paper.

Key Concepts that apply to all history research:

  • Use appropriate terminology (World War I was the "Great War" at the time since we didn't know there would be a second world war.)
  • Ethnic and racial group references have transformed over time (e.g., Native Americans has replaced the term Indians. Indians is now reserved in scholarly works to refer to South Asians from the nation of India.) 
  • Time periods can be vague so try to be fairly broad ("19th century" instead of 1849-1879) unless you are looking at a specific event such as the Mexican Revolution. 
  • Scholars will have preferred ways to reference an event, place or person but there is not any hard and fast rule. 
    • Geographic names can change over time (Myanmar used to be Burma.) 
    • Non-Roman alphabets may be translated into English with a number of variant spellings.
  • Primary sources demonstrate the stereotypes and prejudices of the time, especially in the popular press or during times of conflict. 
  • Propaganda or material created by those in power are biased and frequently distorts facts regarding those without power.
  • Give appropriate credit in your citation and comply with usage restrictions. 
    • Most sources allow use for educational purpose as long as cited or a particular condition is met. See Zapatistas! Anti-copyright statement and Creative Commons as examples.) 
    • Some sources will clearly state they cannot be used without a fee (e.g., Getty Images)
    • The information or image must be from the original source (NOT Wikipedia, Pinterest or Google Images...) 
  • Be a critical consumer, just because it is the first link does not mean it is the best.