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ENGL 218/418: HISTORICAL LOOK AT COMMUNICATION - EDENBORG

Suggested Stout Library Primary Sources

Conducting Historical Research

When conducting historical research you will want to use a variety of primary and secondary sources. 

Secondary sources

  • Written about the time period you are studying
  • Include books, journal articles, reviews, websites
  • Look for words such as "history," "analysis,"  "context"
  • Narrow your results to scholarly (peer-reviewed) sources to find high-quality research-based articles

Primary Sources:

  • Written or created during the time you are studying
  • Include articles, newspaper articles, pictures, data, letters, etc.
  • When searching, do not use words such as "history" or "article."  Instead, use a general key term, such as "education," and narrow down the dates to find what was being written about that topic during your time period
  • Try to use language from your time-period.  Example: "vocational education"
  • Do not narrow your results to scholarly (peer-reviewed) sources

For all works:

  • Consider the slant or biases of the original author or historian writing about it