HIS 300 — Verba - Theory and Practice of History
LIB SOUTH 2037O
Basic Library Information
Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH
Useful Books & Ebooks
Scholarly Internet Research
Finding History Resources Online
General Research Tips
Start your research by going to the library home page.
- Dropdown Menus - Links to all our major web pages in one convenient place.
- Tabbed Search Box - Easy one-stop access to search books, articles, and more.
- Quick Links - Useful links to renew your books, contact the library, and other common tasks.
- Main Section - All the resources you need to perform your research.
Checking out books: You can see what books are available in the Torofind Library Catalog. Once you have found the books you want, bring them to the Circulation Counter on the second floor of Library North to check them out. You will need a valid student ID card or a notification from Admissions & Records to check out books.
If the library does not have a book you need, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan!
You can get journal articles by going to the library home page and clicking the "Articles & eResources" tab in the search box area. This will give you three options:
- If you know which database you want to use (e.g. JSTOR) click Databases by Title).
- If you only know what subject you're looking for (e.g. History) click Databases by Subject.
- If you are looking for an article from a specific journal (e.g. European history quarterly) click Journals by Title.
- If you aren't sure where to start, click the how to find an article link at the top for help.
Once you are in a database, you can start to search for your article. All databases' search options are slightly different, but they usually include several search boxes you can fill out. Most databases will also let you search only for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals. For your research papers, you will want to make sure you check this option!
Articles which you can read in that database will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on that text link to read the article. Some databases also let you e-mail yourself the files by clicking on an e-mail link.
Some articles will say "Find it @ CSUDH Lib" instead of having links to the full text. If you see this, it means the text of that article is not in the database you are searching. But don't worry! By clicking the link which says this, you can see a list of which databases do have the full text. If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan.
If you are using a computer that is on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List and you will be sent immediately to the search screen.
If you are off campus, you will need to log in using your MyCSUDH Username and Password (the same thing you use to log in to Blackboard, MyCSUDH, and student e-mail). When you click on a database name from off-campus, you will see a screen asking you for this information.
After you enter your login information, you should be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just like you would on campus. If you have problems, try resetting your password. If that doesn't work either, give the reference desk a call at (310) 243-3586 and we will help you troubleshoot.
There are plenty of books in the library on History, and on the French Revolution in particular. Try the following search in the library's online catalog and you will see a list of relevant books.
- Go to the library's online catalog
- In the drop-down menu to the left, select "Subject - Subject Words"
- In the text area to the right, type in History.
- On this screen you will see a series of links that you can click with more specific subjects.
- Once you have a list of books on the screen, you can sort your results with the drop-down menu at the right.
- Select "Sort by year - newest to oldest" to see a list of books with the most recent books first.
The library also has several collections of ebooks: books that have been scanned in and which you can access from home using the library website. The main collection of ebooks is called ebrary. You can find it by clicking the "Find Journal Articles Now" header on the main library page, then selecting "E" for ebrary.
To add extra functionality to ebrary books, you can install the ebrary reader, available after logging into the database.
Academic Search Premier
This multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 8,500 journals, including full text for more than 4,600 peer-reviewed titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles.
JSTOR offers high-quality, interdisciplinary content to support scholarship and teaching. It includes over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work.
200 quality journal titles from some 30 scholarly publishers. As one of the the academic community's primary electronic periodicals resources, Project MUSE covers the fields of literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics, and many others.
America: History & Life
Historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present Mary Bagne, Managing Editor America: History and Life is a complete bibliographic reference to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present
Over 2,000 journals published throughout the world are covered in the database, making this a historical periodical database unmatched in breadth. In addition to including the key historical journals from virtually every major country, Historical Abstracts includes a targeted selection of hundreds of journals in the social sciences and humanities that are of special interest to researchers and students of history.
Historical Los Angeles Times (1882 - 1985)
Full-text access to the Los Angeles Times from the late 19th century to the late 20th century.
What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)
In essence, when you quote or paraphrase from somebody else's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism is a serious matter, and could result in a lower or failing grade and even in your expulsion from university. Just rewording your work isn't enough to avoid plagiarism. Since you are still borrowing information heavily from another writer, you still need to include a citation.
But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.
How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources. Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper APA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information helps a lot with this, since it prevents you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.
For more information, see your student handbook and this handout by Sheela Pawar at CSUDH
Remember, not all web sites are created equally. Some sites can be valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion represented as fact. While there isn't a 100% effective way to figure out what kind of site you're looking at, here are some guidelines to follow when using the internet for research:
- Check Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Does whomever it is know what they're talking about? Do they have qualifications in the field or some other reason to be trust-worthy in it?
- Check Accuracy - Are the sources cited well? Is the information up-to-date? Are there any broad, sweeping generalisations that are impossible to verify?
- Check Reasonableness - What is the page's point-of-view? Is it a corporate page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the main purpose is to educate people?
- Check Support - Is it possible to double-check the information in another location?
Useful Scholarly Websites
INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.
The Librarians' Internet Index aims to provide a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected websites, serving California, the nation, and the world. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion.
For more information, check out our guide on Evaluating Web Resources
If you are looking for primary coverage of specific events or individuals, you can often find many resources available online through university archives and other sources. To search just university websites using google, you can add site: .edu to the end of your searches or use the advanced search option.
For European materials, the most common university domain type is .ac.##, where ## is the top-level domain extension for the country you are interested in. (e.g. .ac.uk for British universities, .ac.at for Austrian ones, etc.) Note that you will, in most cases, need to be fluent in the language of the country in order to really make use out of their materials, and that your professor may not want you to use non-English sources--especially if he or she is not fluent in the language.
You can see a list of country top-level-domains on Wikipedia.
In many cases, you may be able to find a "webliography," or list of web resources, that has been compiled by an authority on the field. If you are lucky enough to find one of these, you will find that a lot of the basic legwork has been done for you, and you simply need to look through the resources to find those most relevant to your own research.
There are also some scholarly (or more scholarly) search engines you can use instead of Google. These are indexes to quality web sites that have been recommended by librarians. The sites have been checked for accuracy, timiliness, stabilty, and will generally conform to the standards of academic research. However, please be judicious in the use of websites in general, because anybody can put anything on the web.
- Infomine (infomine.ucr.edu): A project from the Univeristy of California and other universities, it is a searchable index of websites specifically appropriate for university research. Click on SocSci & Humanities to search their specialized index.
- ipL2: : Index of websites reviewed by librarians, geared toward the general public. Choose a topic from the index or use Advanced Search to search for keywords.
- The American Memory Project (lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/) is a collection of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures and text from the Library of Congress Americana collections. There are over 70 collections included in the project. Go the the American Memory website and search a particular topic or browse through the collections.
- CSUDH Online Reference Shelf : Web-based services and subscription resources evaluated by CSUDH librarians.
Use multiple search terms - Remember, not every database or article uses exactly the same words to describe the same thing. Make sure you try several synonyms for the term you're trying to find. Most databases have a link titled "thesaurus" or "subject terms" which you can use to find out what words to search for.
Search in multiple places - The more places you look for information, the more information you're likely to find. Don't just search in one database and assume it's all you'll be able to find! Take a look at the list of Useful Databases earlier on in this page for where to start your search.
Ask for help - Don't be afraid to ask for help! Research can be an exhausting process, and sometimes a fresh perspective will make your task immensely easier. You can stop by the reference desk in the library and ask any of the reference librarians for help with your research. You can also submit an online help request which a librarian will answer within a day or two.
Don't leave it until the last minute - The earlier you start, the better your paper will be. Starting early gives you plenty of time to read and absorb the information so that you'll be properly informed when writing your paper.