Finding Background Information
These are a few examples of sources that can provide background information and an overview on your topic:
Doe Refe = 2nd floor Doe Library floorplan
items listed as "Reference Hall" are in the same room as the Doe Reference desk
Moffitt Ref = main floor, Mofitt Library floorplan
Asian Amer = Ethnic Studies Library
How do I start?
1. Use refefence sources (see above) to learn basic facts about your topic, including dates, places, names of individuals and organizations, titles of specific publications, etc.
2. Find and read secondary sources (see Books/Media tab for OskiCat searches and Articles tab for searches in the America: History and Life database).
Make sure you look through the bibliographies of secondary sources, which can lead you to other secondary sources and to primary sources.
3. Search for primary sources (see Primary Sources tab).
More about the writing of papers:
This classic book on writing a college research paper is easily skimmed or deep enough for the truly obsessed researcher, explains the whole research process from initial questioning, through making an argument, all the way to effectively writing your paper.
This link is to the Google Books preview. But buy a secondhand copy for yourself. It's worth the $8 bucks.
Reading, Writing, and Researching for History: A Guide for College Students
Professor Patrick Rael [a Berkeley PhD] has written a comprehensive but easy to skim web guide to writing history papers. Recommended by History Dept faculty.