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History research guide for TWU students, faculty and staff.

Finding Books in the TWU LIbrary

The TWU Library houses various formats of History, including:

  • Reference books - including dictionaries, encyclopedias, indices, and bibliographies - located on the first floor on the right had side of the room past the central stairway.
  • Course Reserves - located at the Circulation desk on the first floor.  Must be requested by call number
  • Books - located on 2nd floor (Woman's Collection) and 3rd floor (Main Collection) and Basement or Garden Level (Children's Collection)

CALL NUMBERS For American History Located mostly on 3rd floor or the TWU Library


E-F : History, America

E: American and the United States History (general)

E11-143 America 
E151 - 889 United States

F: United States (local) and America Outside of U.S. History

F1-975 United States Local History
F1001-1145.2 British and Dutch America (including Canada)
F1170 French America
F1201-3799 Latin America, Spanish America

Selected Books for American History

Databases For History


Profile Photo
Andy Tucker
Blagg- Huey Library
P.O.Box 425528
Denton, TX 76201
Phone/Text/Fax 940-898-3709

Nine steps to Research

1. Know what the assignment is.  When your professor gives you the assignment, take the time to understand right away what it actually entails.  Do you understand the terminology?  Do you understand what the final product should look like?

2.  Understand what the research process is all about.  Watch this video to make sure you understand!

3. Choose your topic.  Get an overview by consulting an encyclopedia, handbook or specialized dictionary.  This is especially important if your area of research is less familiar to you. As you read, start focusing your topic.  Wikipedia is also good for getting an overview.

4. Brainstorm questions & keywords.  The questions help direct your research. You'll need the keywords for database-searching.

5. Identify the sources to search.  Usually you want books and articles for a credible paper. For books you'll use the Online Catalog  For articles you'll use databases — usually at least one subject-specific one.  Try starting with TWUUniversal  which searches several databases at once.  Or you can choose databases to search from our A-Z List of Databases

6. Focus your topic further into a thesis statement.  This is your road map for further research — and for writing the paper. You will state it near the beginning (e.g., end of your introduction). It tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion, and what to expect from the rest of the paper. It presents your argument. The rest of the paper, the "body", gathers and organizes evidence to persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.  Use an outline to stay on track.  Jot down a rough outline listing main points you want to cover in your paper, so you can stay on track when writing. Is each point related and useful to your thesis, whether for background or argument?

7. Scope of your topic: too narrow or too broad?  Choosing too narrow a topic or one that doesn't have much information about it can make researching a six- or ten-page paper frustrating. (So can too broad or vague a topic.) When you choose your topic, try to make it something that you know has enough sources to help you construct your argument.  Go back to #3.

8. Keep track of your findings.  Email useful articles to yourself so you can't misplace them. For each source you might use, make sure you have enough data for your list of references. Keep a list of resources with their citation information.  Not only will you have it to complete your citations, but if you need to return to a source, you can easily find it. 

9. Cite everything you use.  Consider doing your bibliography (or "works cited" or "references" list)first, or as you go, so you can refer to it when doing in-text citations as you write your paper — this saves work overall. As well, it means you're not faced with this detailed task when you're bleary-eyed at the very end of writing your paper!