DL Historical Research and Analysis

Our Histories of Democracy course is one of the courses on campus that has been designated to develop and assess student knowledge and skills in the area of information literacy. We refer to this as the "Historical Research and Analysis" learning outcome for this course, while courses in other disciplines use other terminology to refer to their approaches to information literacy. However, whatever name disciplines give to it, information literacy is the ability to use the library's academic databases and resource materials to locate, evaluate, and use relevant and credible scholarly sources related to the topic you are working on.

 In this section of Histories of Democracy, you will demonstrate your abilities in historical research and analysis by addressing each of the sections in this document.


 I.   Research Question or Issue  (0.5 page)

A.   Identify and briefly explain the question or issue concerning democratic equality in the years 1865-1900  that has been your focus in this library research activity.

 II.  Search Methodology (1.0-1.5 pages)

 A.    Within the 'History' subject area (or some other subject area), identify the one or two or three databases that you chose to search. Explain your reason for selecting each database.

  B. Describe the strategy you used in choosing 'keywords', 'phrases', 'synonyms', and ‘AND/OR’ logic to conduct your search and locate helpful sources.

III.  Selection and Analysis of Sources (1.5-2.0 pages for each source)

In this section you are to identify and analyze four (4) scholarly sources that you located and used to address your question or issue. You should develop a section for each of the four sources you worked with.

 A.   Identify the source using either Chicago, MLA or APA citation style.

 B.  Explain how you judged the credibility of the source.

  1.     Was the source peer-reviewed prior to publication?
  2.     Was the organization that published the work reputable?
  3.     What were the author’s credentials?
  4.     What were the author’s areas of expertise?
  5.     What university or institution was the author affiliated with?

 C.  Analysis of the Source

  1.      How is this source related or connected to your research question or issue?
  2.      Select only resources that are relevant to your research focus.
  3.      What are the main points that this source makes in relation to your question or issue?
  4.      What types of evidence or reasoning does this source provide to support its main points?
  5.      What do you think you have learned from this one source about your research question or issue?

IV.     Conclusion (1.5-2.0 pages)

Based upon the four scholarly sources that you have identified and analyzed above, provide a brief discussion of what you think you have or have not learned about your original research question or issue.      

You will submit and discuss this product in class on

Wednesday, March 13th or Monday, March 25th