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HST 111: The West and the World, Pt. I (Dimock): Starting Your Research

Before You Start Your Research


Watch the following tutorials to help you begin thinking about your topic and formulate a research question. 

Google can be a great place to start your research and find out more about a topic, but you will also need to find authoritative sources on the web.  Visit the Web Resources tab on this guide for some sociology related websites. 

There are also 2 library databases that can help you explore different topics. 

1.  Credo Reference offers on-line encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs.  See below for a tutorial on how to use Credo Reference.   Reference resources are a perfect place to start exploring your topic and gain background knowledge.

After watching the tutorials --




This History 111 Subject Guide might also offer additional resources for background information and links to other helpful websites.

Tutorial - Picking Your Topic & The Research Process

What is a Reference Resource?

Reference resources are usually encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, manuals and other books that you would refer to when wanting to know a definition of a word or concept, a general overview of a topic, specific information about a certain period of time or event in history.

The databases below are a great starting place for exploring a topic.

Tutorial - Coming up with Your Reseach Question

Research in Books & eBooks

  • Books provide in-depth coverage of a topic.
  • Books often provide valuable background information on a topic.
  • Books can also provide an overview of all the issues pertaining to a topic.

Using Goolge to Start Your Research

Using the Internet for Research


  • The Internet provides brief overviews of a topic
  • The Internet often provides valuable statistics
  • The Internet can sometimes help you discover the stakeholders of a specific issue.