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The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library


Senior Research and Composition: The Analytical Biography: Home

Help!

If you have any questions,

see Mr. Padgett or Ms. Taylor

OR email us at 

spadgett@taftschool.org  

  taylorp@taftschool.org

We're here to help!

YOUR ASSIGNMENT

A researched, thesis-based essay on a historical figure of your choice from between the start of the French Revolution (1789) and the Watergate Crisis (1974). The thesis should answer a central question inspired by your research.

Length: 3-5 pages

General Search Tips for Online Subscription Databases

  • Limit results to Full Text:
    • Make sure that all the results are items you can access by limiting results to Full Text results only. Databases often include a mix of full text items and abstracts/synopses of items. Selecting Full Text helps prevent frustration.
  • Look for search terms in article titles. 
    • ​Database searches generally default to keyword. Using the drop-down list to the right of the search bar, look for titledocument title, or comparable term such as newspaper Headline.
  • Use Filters:
    • Look for filters / limiters on your results page, such as Subject and Source types. This will help ensure you get only the results that you want and will make sure you don't have to wade through as many results.
    • Look especially for:
      • Source types: xxxxxxx
      • Lexile levels of about xxxxxxx.
  • Use AND / OR operators (also known as Boolean operators):
    • Use AND in your search when there are words that all need to be in your search results.
    • Use OR when there are two words that can be used interchangeably, but at least one of them needs to be present in your results.
    • Use NOT when you want to exclude a word from your search.
    • Examples:
      • coronavirus OR COVID-19
      • coronavirus OR COVID-19 AND Spain (Articles about the virus in Spain only.)
      • coronavirus OR COVID-19 NOT United States (Articles about the virus anywhere but the United States.)

The History Essay: a Research Guide

A useful step-by-step guide written by Mr. Greg Hawes (2005)

Sample Chicago Style Paper

This resource from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) shows a sample paper in the Notes and Bibliography format of the Chicago Manual of Style, 17thedition