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HIST 260: Historiography and Research Methods

Reference Librarian

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Luke Meagher

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X

Sandor Teszler Library
Room 214
(864) 597 - 4327

Finding a Topic

Class Schedule

All class sessions will be held in STL (Sandor Teszler Library) room 035, the classroom directly opposite the stairs on the lower level.


Tuesday, March 14th:

The scholarly conversation: scholarly authority

  • What does it mean to be a historian?
  • What's the difference between scholarly and popular literature in History?
  • How is scholarship published in history?
  • What are the characteristics of scholarly literature in History?

The scholarly conversation: finding and evaluating sources and resources

  • Searching for books in Wofford OneSearch, and understanding what you find along the way


Homework: Bring at least 1 potential book source (physical or electronic) to class on Thursday, March 16th. 

Thursday, March 16th:

The scholarly conversation: finding and evaluating sources and resources, continued

  • Is your source scholarly? How can you tell?
  • Get almost any source! Using PASCAL Delivers and Interlibrary Loan, in OneSearch
  • Searching for articles in OneSearch, and understanding what you find along the way
  • Databases for history: JSTOR and friends, search strategies

The scholarly conversation: citation style

  • Chicago "bibliography" style citations: why, how, try it!

Homework: 20 citations related to your project in Chicago format (Bibliography style) will be due by 11:59PM Friday, March 24, on Moodle.

Tuesday, March 28th:

The scholarly conversation: putting it into your own words

  • Questions about Chicago Bibliography style
  • How to write annotations 

Library Lab

  • Write an annotation
  • Consult with your peers, professor, and librarian
  • Find more sources
  • Work on your annotated bibliography

Homework: 5 annotated sources will be due by [DATE] on Moodle.

Tuesday, April 11th:

The scholarly conversation: determining the scholarly conversation

  • Organizing your sources
  • Determining the scholarly conversation

Library Lab

  • Work on your annotated bibliography, etc.

Homework: Final annotated bibliography, 10 sources annotated, due [DATE] on Moodle.

What makes a resource "scholarly"

Checklist to Determine if a Resource Is Scholarly:

  • Author is an accredited scholar, and almost always has an advanced degree, usually a Ph. D. 
  • Author usually is associated with an academic or research institution, which is reflected in the author's byline, bio, and e-mail address.
  • Author always cites, that is, identifies in detail, his, or her, sources so that you can look them up.  (In this way, a scholarly resource can help a lot with your own research.)
  • Author's sources are scholarly.
  • Resource in question is substantial in length; in the case of an article (as opposed to a book), you are looking at 10, 15, 20, or more pages of content.
  • If the resource is a journal article, especially in the sciences or social sciences (as opposed to the humanities), it is likely to follow this format: Abstract (or summary), literature review, methodology, results, and conclusion plus footnotes, endnotes, and, or, bibliography (that is, list of works cited).
  • If the resource is an article, it is very likely to appear in a peer-reviewed journal.  Peer-reviewed means that the article has been subjected to thorough review (and editing) by the author's peers, that is, by other accredited scholars, in the given academic field.  The reviewers oftentimes are members of the journal's editorial staff.  Not all scholarly articles appear in journals that are peer-reviewed.
  • As a secondary characteristic, the scholarly resource typically appears with zero or minimal advertising.