Choosing a Topic

Choosing a topic for any paper is a process. Completing each of the following steps (in any order), should help you choose a topic that is appropriate for the assignment.

  • Library research—Find at least two useful reference books and three library card catalog subject headings.
  • Internet research—What words did you google successfully? Name at least one useful scholarly web site. Do not include web-based library card catalogs in this section.
  • You should talk to at least one member of this history department about your topic. Take notes on the conversation.
  • In almost every research paper you must have primary sources.  Note any pertinent information on that primary source including web site and/or call number.
  • Are enough secondary sources available on this topic?
  • Talk with your professor about potential topics.

Historiographic Clues

Links to Online Primary Sources by Region

Guide to Online Research