DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
 
 

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Guides for Conducting Research and Writing History Papers
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Learning Resources

The Department of History has put together a list of websites and other links to better assist you in your history courses, from reading and note-taking to research and writing.  While these are skills that will help you achieve in your history courses, they are also useful techniques to take with you into your professional life! 

Guides to Reading and Note-taking

  1. How to Read a Book: Often, the amount of reading in a history course can seem daunting.  However, there are many techniques to reading more efficiently.  This short essay by Paul Edwards gives you some clues as to how to make the most of your reading time.
  2. Note-taking and Studying Techniques:  Having trouble keeping up with your lectures?  Not sure what you should write down when reading your textbook?  Confused about where to start studying? These sites offer great advice to improve your performance in and outside of the classroom. 

Top 5 Tips for Effective Notetaking (http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/academic/notes-tips.htm)
Cal Poly’s Comparison of Notetaking Techniques
(http://www.sas.calpoly.edu/asc/ssl/notetaking.systems.html)
Tips for Effective Study (http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/fancher/STUDY.HTM)
Listening and Studying Skills Handouts (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/handouts.html)

Guides for Research and Writing

  1. What is Plagairism?  As historians, it is essential that we give credit to those who have already done work in the areas in which we are researching.  Sometimes the line between synthesizing material and plagiarism can be a tricky one.  This site helps us to understand exactly what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. 
  2. Citation Guide for History Students:  Once we know the difference between our own work and the work of others, it is essential to properly acknowledge the work you have drawn on in your research.  Use this site, excerpted from Kate Turabian’s classic Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, to properly document your sources, wherever they may come from. 
  3. How to Write a Book Review:  Dr. Gary Donaldson in the History Department at Xavier University has put together this guide to writing a book review, a skill you may find useful in many of your humanities courses!
  4. Research Collections at Xavier University:  Xavier University has a wonderful collection of unpublished and rare published items on four topics: the history of Xavier University of Louisiana, African-American history and culture, Roman Catholicism in the United States, and the Southern U. S. and the Gulf-Caribbean region, with special emphasis on the history of Louisiana and New Orleans.  For more on the Xavier University Special Collections, go to Suite 319 on Floor 3 of the Xavier University Library.
  5. Research Collections in New Orleans:  Opportunities for research in New Orleans are nearly endless!  The New Orleans Public Library offers a comprehensive list of their available collections, as well as a great site indicating other places for research they call Good Links Outside Our Walls.

Other Useful Links

"History has thrust something upon me from which I cannot turn away." – Martin Luther King Jr.

 
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