Welcome to college level research. This project will be a beast, but if you plan ahead and stay organized, it will make your life a lot easier.
Step One: Narrow Your Topic
First off, choose a topic that interests you – this is probably the most important step in crafting a quality research paper. Chances are if you’re bored with your topic, your audience will be bored as well. Click here to start shopping around for topics.
After skimming through some reference sources on your topic, hopefully some aspect will interest you. When the mind is interested in something, it often asks itself questions to find out more information. Listen to this inner voice! Generate this into a working research question to focus yourself.
Step Two: Gather Evidence
This is a time intensive process. Like a detective in a crime scene, your job is to sift through all of the available data and find relevant information for your paper. Primary and secondary sources can be located online, but you should also consult book sources.
Locating Secondary Sources
US History in Context– Gale Databases
JSTOR *Password available in the library
US History Collection – Gale Database
Locating Book Sources
School catalog – Locate what the BHS library has to offer.
School eBook collection – Over 120,000 academic books.
Statewide System – Search all that Massachusetts has to offer for books on your topic. It can be mailed free of charge to Clapp Memorial Library within a few days.
Locating Primary Sources
US History in Context – Gale Database
Internet Modern History Sourcebook – Fordham University
American Memory Project – Library of Congress
Historical Newspapers – Click on “Advanced” at the top then “Historical News” on the right hand column.