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HIST 430 The United States Becomes a World Power, 1890-1950

Class Guide for Senior Seminar HIST 430 The United States Becomes a World Power, 1890-1950, Dr. Threlkeld

Research 1-2-3

1.) Break your topic into several keywords and create search strings (you will need to construct multiple searches).

I wish to explore why the United States didn't join the League of Nations.

"United States" AND "League of Nations"

Woodrow Wilson AND League of Nations

Woodrow Wilson AND United States Senate

2.) Use the reference works tab to find an encyclopedia or dictionary entry on your topic. 

This will list citations for books and journal articles.

3.) Search the library catalogs with your keywords.

* pay attention to subject headings

4.) Search the databases with your keywords.

* pay attention to subjects

5.) Read, read, read! Ask more questions. Do more searches. Start writing out your ideas.

Research Tips

A keyword search retrieves any and all occurrences of a given word or combination of words, whether the words appear in the subject headings, title, or descrioption of the article or book.
Advantage: A keyword search expands the search to all occurrences of a given word or combination of words.

Disadvantage: A keyword search may retrieve much more than you want.

A subject search searches the subject headings assigned to articles and books. Subject headings are very specific terms and phrases used by libraries to describe what a book or article is about. In order to have these terms and phrases be consistent, most libraries use subject headings defined by the Library of Congress. A subject search limits your search to an exact word or an exact combination of words assigned to a given article or book as subject headings.
Advantage: A subject search retrieves exactly what you ask for.
Disadvantage: A subject search limits you to only what you ask for.

Before You Start Searching...

Think about how you will collect and organize the citations you discover during the research process.

  • print out articles and write down the citations?
  • email articles to yourself from the database?
  • what about books?
  • primary sources?

Citation management is a crucial step in the research process.  

I highly suggest using a citation management program -  a powerful, easy-to-use research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources and then share the results of your research.


Citation Management Programs

Search Summon

Use Summon to search nearly everything to which Denison has access. Summon is a great place to start with research on interdisciplinary topics. 

Denison Libraries, 100 W College, Granville, Ohio 43023
Phone: 740-587-6235, email:
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