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HIST 021/136 U.S. History 1 & HIST 022/137 U.S. History 2: Start with Reference Sources

US HIST 1 = HIST 021 / 136 and US HIST 2 = HIST 022 / 137

Why Use Background Info?

Why Use Background Info in Reference Books?       

An overview of your broad topic area helps you understand...
  • what the key issues are and how you may want to refine your topic
  • who are the stakeholders (the groups or individuals this topic concerns)
  • a context of how your topic relates to the other issues that surround it
  • a historical perspective on your topic
  • specialized vocabulary or search words that are used in your field (you will use these words for searches later in your research process)

General U.S. History Reference

Hardcopy Reference Books in the Library

  • Use these reference books in the library or photocopy or scan the sections you need

Some Ethnic Histories

Digital Reference Books

Digital Reference Books Online - highly recommended!

Click the library database links below to access digital reference books and subject encyclopedias

  1. First, try a broad search on your topic, such as...
    • civil war women
    • civil war reconstruction
  2. Then, try narrower searches such as:                                                           ...
    • civil war women military
    • civil war women homefront
    • civil war reconstruction african american
    • civil war reconstruction legislation

Term Paper Guides