Being able to recognize scholarly sources is particularly important - and sometimes challenging - in the discipline of History due to its broad popularlity and the vast amount of publication in the field.
Your task: Quickly skim the sources listed below. Are they scholarly? Why or why not?
Doing some background reading in a secondary source can often help you identify or narrow a research topic, and gather basic details about an issue (key dates, places, people and events) to inform your understanding and search for more information, including primary sources.
With your neighbour, skim this article about the American Revolution.
Use the MRU LibrarySearch tool - the search box on the library homepage - to find information in all formats (including books, journal articles, and films) simultaneously.
Improve your results by:
Still looking for information or overwhelmed by LibrarySearch results?
America History and Life is a database dedicated to journals related to North American history.
Try the Advanced Search, where you can:
Official documents (e.g., laws, government and legal records): The Stamp Act
Personal accounts (e.g., letters, diaries, memoirs): Narratives of the Life of Moses Grandy
Newspapers and other published works: Boston, Dec 16, 1773
Browse the Primary Sources for US History tab of this research guide for an excellent list of primary source collections.
add the term sources to your search words, which narrows a search to primary documents.
For example: American Revolution sources.
or try specific terms such as correspondence, diaries, speeches
Try searching Google. Along with your topic words, include a term that might be used to describe an online primary source collection, such as: "primary sources," sources, documents, "primary documents"
Once inside a primary source collection, search using terms that would have been used in the historical period you are studying. For example: Boston Griffins Wharf vs. Boston Tea Party, Negro vs. African American.
Limit search results to a specific date range when you have the option to do so.
No idea where to start? Try a historical newspaper or government document collection - they will support most topics.