three things to know
about doing research in
Social Sciences Librarian 9/11/14
Historians have interpreted events in the Latin America from a variety of different viewpoints.
Generally, historians will reference one another's work (on similar topics) in their writings. This back-and-forth discussion can be referred to as the scholarly conversation on the topic.
Analysis of scholarly interpretations, known generally as historiography, can give more nuance to your arguments and provide a greater context for your understanding.
It's often easier to get a map of the scholarly debate before going out and searching for individual books and articles on the topic you're researching.
Questions discussed by scholars in your discipline
Arguments made by scholars
Overall trends and patterns in the scholarship
(look for words like "strand," "turn," and "school of thought")
Major scholars and works
(including influential books and articles)
Careful reading of journal articles, books, & book reviews
(look for references to "the literature" on a topic as well as references to other scholarly books and articles)
(Open a web browser and go to The Dash.)
By finding sources that discuss the historiography of your topic, you can contextualize your research question.
Find areas of scholarly conversation by using reference sources, book reviews,
review articles, dissertation bibliographies, careful reading, and your professors.
Identify major scholars and relevant scholarly works.
JSTOR, Project Muse
journal articles and ebooks from many academic disciplines
books in the library and journal articles from many disciplines
journal articles and book reviews by historians
Use the Research Guide to identify the best places to look for scholarly articles, books, and book reviews.
Let's take a look at the Research Guide again.
Historical Abstracts and America, History and Life offer particularly useful advanced search options aimed at historians, e.g. the ability to search by the dates discussed in an article in addition to the publication date.
Go to the Research Guide for this course.
Click on the tab for Scholarly Articles.
Click the S next to Historical Abstracts.
Choose the right database or catalog depending on the kind of information you need.
Create a list of search terms to cover all of your bases.
Use Advanced Search strategies to combine your search terms effectively.
Primary Sources tab
What are Primary Sources?
What question(s) are you asking?
Let's try looking through a few links that point to primary sources related to Latin American history.
Feel free to make an appointment to get help
with your research.
Office hours at the McCabe Research & Info Desk - Fall 2014:
Mondays, 3-5 PM
Wednesdays, 1-3 PM
Other times by appointment, selichk1 [at] swarthmore.edu