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The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library

US History: Spring Research Paper: Home

If you have any questions, see
Mr. Padgett, Ms. Taylor, or Mr. Previti
OR email us at
We're here to help!

Your Research Process

Using this guide effectively

  1. If you need to find a topic, take a look at the first tab, Find a Topic, where we highlight individual library databases that are arranged to help you find a topic that interests you.

  2. Once you have found a broad topic that interests you, start your research with Online Reference Sources where you will find a broad overview of your subject. This will allow you to better understand where the specific information you find later fits in the bigger picture.

  3. Next, dive deep with Books and eBooks, also known as monographs or secondary sources. These ebooks will have more specific information about aspects of your topic. Sometimes there will be an entire book on your specific topic, sometimes you may have to assemble information from multiple monographs. They will generally have a bibliography of resources recommended by the author.

  4. Find and interpret Primary Sources: Primary sources are things produced in the historical time period being studied. These can range from the written word, to artwork, coins, tools, and even everyday household objects. Interpreting primary sources will require the background knowledge gained through your reference and monograph research.

  5. Journal Articles are also secondary sources. They are essentially research papers written by scholars, and are published in academic journals. They will include references to resources the author used to research the topic.



This guide covers many important items, such as:

  • Creating a thesis question

  • Building your outline

  • Research and Note-taking

  • Using evidence to prove your thesis

  • And more!