HI 217 Library Research Project
1. Find FOUR sources that deal in some detail (at least two pages of text) with your topic.
2. Photocopy the relevant pages from the articles and books that you have found. Also photocopy the title pages, prefaces, and any other information about the author.
3. Compare the four xeroxes with each other and explain in an essay:
1. Be creative with your keyword searches!
As you research, remember that your topic can be included under many different subject headings and titles. DO NOT EXPECT TO FIND FOUR SOURCES WHOSE TITLES PRECISELY DESCRIBE YOUR TOPIC! Look, for example, at the titles of your course texts; Red, White, and Black does not tell you much about the specific topics with which that book deals. Look at the INDEXES, TABLES OF CONTENTS, BIBLIOGRAPHIES, and REFERENCE NOTES of any book or article whose title is even remotely related to your topic. If, for example, your topic is the trial of Anne Hutchinson in 1637, you might find information not simply in a political history of the early Massachusetts Bay Colony, but in a women’s history text or an anthology of American women’s writings, or in biographies of the key players in this case such as Governor John Winthrop, the minister John Cotton, or Anne Hutchinson herself.
2. Try multiple sources to find author information.
In seeking information on the authors and their backgrounds, look at the beginning of the book or article for prefaces, introductions, and so on. If there is no information on the author there, look on the Web, and for hardcopy reference works on modern scholars, such as the Dictionary of American Scholars. Also check the Web and library catalogues (the British Library Catalogue is excellent) to see what other books the author has published, besides the one you are using. This will help you to discover the author’s area(s) of expertise and interest.