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African American History: Getting Started

Getting Started

Before you Begin: Know the Assignment

  • What length is your final paper supposed to be?
  • How many resources are required?
  • What types of resources are required?
  • When is the assignment due?

Before Searching:  Develop a Strategy

    • PRE-search several topics that you are interested in to see what kind of information is available. Will there be enough to support the assignment requirements?
    • Is there a way to narrow or expand your topic using keywords? These will become your search terms.
    • Example Thesis: "Lunch counter protests pressured business owners to change racist policies."
      Example Keywords: "Lunch counter", Protests, Racist, Policies
    • Brainstorm additional search terms by finding words with similar meanings.
                        Example 1, Keyword "Lunch counter": restaurant, diner
                        Example 2, Keywords "Protests": demonstrations (wider term), sit-ins (narrower term)

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