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History 111: Choosing a Topic

History Database for Topic Exploration

Browse the Issues & Controversies in History database if you aren't sure what topic you want to focus on. Use the American History Eras section on the right to find potential topics.

Websites for Topic Exploration

Reference Sources for Topic Context

Why use reference books? Reference books provide you with:

  • A springboard to background information on a topic
  • Important dates covering the who, what, where, when and why of a topic
    for the ‘who, what, when, and how
    for the ‘who, what, when, and how
  • Important individuals and explanation of terms surrounding a topic
    for the ‘who, what, when, and how

Reference resources can also be a good starting point in selecting a research topic. After reviewing reference resources you can develop a plan of where to concentrate your research efforts on topics you want to explore further.

Online Reference Resources (off-campus access requires signing in using your mymsjc user name and password):

Computer Mouse

  • Credo Reference - Credo Reference is an online resource that contains content from reference books covering every major subject.
  • Gale eBooks - Gale eBooks is a database of academic eBooks, encyclopedias, and specialized reference sources covering a variety of subject areas.

Selected Print Reference Book Sources

Selected eReference Titles