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History research paper: finding helpful sources

Sources make your paper. This is true of any writing assignment as a student because you, as the student, are not the expert. Instead, you are highlighting the expert knowledge available to make a point that is available by those who lead in your field of study. History, in particular, is a topic that relies heavily on sources. Since most of history involves periods of time that no one can personally vouch for, the expert material necessary is found in source materials that are available through a variety of research options.

History: Finding Helpful Resources

After choosing which historical topic to cover in a research paper, you must start to research the specific topic. For most topics, there are a variety of source locations that can help you answer the questions you have and help you build a successful project that highlights important historical trends and facts.

Consider the following as you complete your research:

The Library: Though considered by some to be the “old fashioned” research option, the Library offers a wealth of information that is simply unavailable online. Books, in particular, are extremely helpful in the researching process of historical events. Everything from history books to autobiographies written by those who lived through a certain era will provide additional insight. Libraries, both private and public, also most often have a collection of journals, magazines, newspapers, and other educational publications that can help. While a lot of this information is being translated onto the internet, much of it simply isn’t available online.

Educational Search Engines: Many schools offer students access to educational compilations of resource materials. These are online sites that typically (for non-students) cost money to access information from. Many professionals pay for access, but students are often given access through the school (and tuition). These search engines host thousands of journals, books, manuals, and other scholarly sources that are compiled and used by peers and experts in the field. They also often highlight the most accurate and current information – as well as information that was highlighted previously.

Historical Organizations: There are many historical organizations that raise money and complete research on a specific historical event, person, or trend. Most have a website to chronicle updates and research trends – and many have an option for contacting those who may offer additional resource help. Touching base with organizations that have made your topic a lifetime study can be very effective.