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HIS 490 — History--Senior Seminar: Religion in the Western World

Contact Information

Carol Dales


Library Basic Information

Background Information

Books & E-Books

Interlibrary Loan


Scholarly Internet Research

Plagiarism & Citation


Library Basic Information

Library Location

Library Hours

Reserve Desk

Library Guides

Ask A Librarian  

Reference Desk

Background Information

Subject dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks are good starting points if you are new to a particular research area. They contain articles, chapters, and reviewed essays that outline the scope, vocabulary and multiple aspects of a particular topic, as well as pointing out key books and articles on that topic. For example, these books might help you get started

                                   Subject Dictionaries & Encyclopedias 

                                            Subject Handbooks 

Books & E-Books

Searching for Books and Other Materials at the CSUDH Library

CSUDH Library uses the Library of Congress Classification system to arrange books.

Toro Find Online Catalog
allows you to identify books and other materials held in and available to the library, and gives you the call numbers and locations you need to find books on a topic or individual books. If you can't locate what you need, please check with the staff at the LIbrary Information/Reference Desk on the 3rd floor South!

Here are a few examples of books you might find on the subject matter of this class:

You can also use the library online catalog to renew your books, save and e-mail searches, and more.

Checking Out Materials

When you present your current student ID, you may check out up to 30 items for 28 days at the Circulation Desk, located on the second floor of the library. For more information on renewals, holds, overdue fines, etc. contact the Circulation Desk at (310) 243-3712.

Searching Other Library Collections

The Catalog of the CSU Libraries allows searching of the collections for all 23 CSU campuses and for finding materials that are not available at your CSUDH Library. These materials may be requested through Interlibrary Loan online at no cost.

WorldCat lets you search the collections of libraries in your community, state, country and from around the world.  WorldCat locates the item of your interest in the nearest libraries to our campus. Items available for loan may be borrowed online and include: books, journal articles, and some dissertation and theses. For additional information on policies contact the Interlibrary-Loan Services at (310) 243-3716.

Interlibrary Loan

If the CSUDH Library does NOT own in any form a specific journal or magazine article or book that you need, let us get it for you!

  • use the online ILL form at http://library.csudh.edu/services/ILL/ to submit an electronic request.
    A print or electronic copy of that book or article will be obtained at no charge  from another library, but may take as long as 7 to 14 days or more to arrive (Note: if you do not come to CSUDH campus for classes, please arrange interlibrary loans for books, whether from CSUDH library or other libraries, through your nearest public library).

  • In a hurry? Go to our CSU Campus Libraries and/or WorldCat pages to search for holdings at other academic libraries you can visit in person.


Access online databases through the libraryís home page via Databases by Title. As full-text access and date coverage varies from one database to another, you may have to search in several databases.

The Journals by Title allows you to identify and locate specific journals, their availability, whether they are accessible electronically or in print, and their coverage dates.

If you are accessing the databases from off-campus, you will be prompted to login with your My CSUDH username and password.


Library Databases

  • Academic Search Premier: a multi-subject, general database providing full-text for more than 4,600 journals, including full-text for more than 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. This is a great place to start your research.

  • America: History and Life: extensive database that  includes more than 2,000 journals covering American and Canadian history.

  • Historical Abstracts: covers over 2,000 history journals published throughout the world.

  • JSTOR: includes full-text access to more than 330 journals up to 2009. Covers a variety of academic areas including history, religion and anthropology.|

  • Project Muse: 200 quality journal titles from some 30 scholarly publishers; covers history, cultural studies, as well as political science, gender studies, and other academic fields.

              (if you need access to ATLA Religion Database, please check databases at
               Los Angeles Public Library)

Scholarly Internet Research

Beware of Web Hazards!

Remember: Wikipedia may help introduce you to the general background on a subject. Sometimes, even librarians will check a Wikipedia article to get quick background information on a topic new to them. The bibliography part of a Wikipedia article may sometimes provide reliable resources to help you begin your research process. But Wikipedia is not a scholarly source for academic research.

In general, use the guidelines below to assess the authoritative value of a particular website:

  • Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Do they have qualifications in the field or another reason to ensure the trustworthiness of the website?
  • Accuracy - Are the sources well cited? Is the information up-to-date? Are there broad, sweeping generalizations that are impossible to verify?
  • Reasonableness - What is the point-of-view of the website? 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?
  • Support - Is it possible to verify the information from another authoritative source?


For more information about judging whether a website is reliable, take a look at this YouTube video:


Reliable Websites:

  • Divining America: Religion in American History
    This site has links to essays by leading scholars on religion in American History, from the 17th through the 20th centuries, on almost every topic.
  • Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
    Encompassing over 200 objects including early American books, manuscripts, letters, prints, paintings, artifacts, and music from the Library of Congress's collections and complemented by loans from other institutions, this site explores the role religion played in the founding of the American colonies, in the shaping of early American life and politics, and in forming the American Republic.
  • The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925
    This site, by the University of NC and the Library of Congress, traces how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life. It focuses on how the black community adapted evangelical Christianity, making it a metaphor for freedom, community, and personal survival.
  • Women Evangelists: A Forgotten History
    This website is dedicated to bringing to light the impact of women evangelists in shaping American religious life from the nationís infancy to the present. It features brief profiles of evangelists, a selective bibliography of secondary sources, and links to related sites.
  • Billy Graham Center Archives
    This Archives at Wheaton College covers American Evangelical Protestant history, not just Billy Graham information. You can also see some of their online exhibits.
  • Billy Sunday: Athlete and Evangelist
    This website from the Library of Congress includes a timeline of Billy SUnday's life, as well as contemporary newspaper articles about him.
  • Scopes Trial
    This site from the University of Missouri School of Law has a collection of images, biographies, accounts, and more from the 1925 case about teaching evolution in schools.

Useful Scholarly Websites on The Deep Web:

  • 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 provides a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy websites, serving California, the nation, and the world. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion!

Plagiarism & Citation


  • 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." (source: Oxford English Dictionary)

Instances of plagiarism include:

    • Quoting or paraphrasing someone's work in your paper without citing it
    • Expressing someone else's ideas as your own

Plagiarism is a serious matter and could result in a lower or failing grade and even expulsion from the University.

  • 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.
  • How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by giving credit where credit is due and always citing your sources. Whenever you insert a quotation, re-word information you got from a source or present an idea developed by someone else, be sure to include a citation in the proper style. It is important to take detailed notes on where you are finding information for your paper as you find it.  This helps to ensure you will cite the information correctly as you begin writing your paper.  
  •  The American Psychological Association style, or APA, is commonly used within the social sciences including in communications. In order to avoid plagiarism it is important to document the resources by incorporating citations in text and the references page according to this manual style.
  •  For more information about plagiarism, see your student handbook, the CSUDH  Student Code of Conduct, and this APA style page from the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

  •  P.S.: Take a look at our new CSUDH Library anti-plagiarism tutorial: Plagiarism: How to recognize it and get it out of your life! (and don't forget to test yourself by playing the challenging plagiarism game at the very end!).




Word Cloud image at top of guide courtesy of Sonoma State Department of Sociology: http://www.sonoma.edu/sociology/external-links.html