When you start a new research project, it is useful to first plan your research and then get an overview of your topic. This section connects you to reference materials like encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries that will help you do just that. This page is divided into 2 parts:
Plan Your Research: Find Manuals and Handbooks
These are books about the discipline of history, methods for conducting historical research, and how to write a research paper. These will help you think about and plan your research.
Get an Overview of Your Topic: Find Encyclopedias and Reference Books
Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other reference materials offer clear, concise introductions to research topics. The entries are usually a maximum of 2-5 pages and provide reliable background information about topics by identifying themes, major events, timelines, and key individuals involved. These are considered reliable sources and they often list key scholarly and primary materials related to your topic.
Get an Overview of Your Topic: Find Encyclopedias and Reference Books (Online)
Contains 1,400 online entries written by 900 historians and scholars on America's political, diplomatic, and military history, as well as social, cultural, and intellectual trends; science, technology, medicine, the arts, and religion are also covered.
Provides comprehensive coverage of diverse individuals who have shaped the history of the United States. It features over 18,700 biographies. New biographies are added three times annually. Entries are cross-referenced to counterpart entries in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Get an Overview of Your Topic: Find Encyclopedias and Handbooks (Weldon Library)
Weldon Library has a rich collection of encyclopedias and reference books on the U.S., its history, and foreign policy.
Primarily aimed at undergraduates, America In The World will answer the needs of students while satisfying the general reader's increasing curiosity about America's role on the world scene; the impact of U.S. policies not only nationally, on the domestic agenda, but globally; and the reactions of the world's nations to America's rise, 1776 to the present.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History offers both assessment and analysis of the key episodes, issues and actors in the military and diplomatic history of the United States.
This revised version has been expanded with 44 new essays, all written by respected post-Cold War scholars who bring the latest perspectives to their topics. General category coverage includes concepts and doctrines, policymaking, commerce and science, human rights, and arms control.
This A-to-Z reference guide is the ideal place for students and general readers to start their research on America's relationship with the rest of the world. Looking at American foreign policy from a historical viewpoint, Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy details U.S. foreign affairs from the American Revolution up through the present day, with concise yet insightful information on important people, groups and organizations, events, legislation, and foreign policy-related topics. Entries include: the Alliance for Progress; Bricker Amendment; Camp David Peace Accords; Covert Action; Good Neighbor Policy; Human Rights; International Monetary Fund; Henry Kissinger; Manifest Destiny; NATO; and Sandinistas.
Plan Your Research: Find Manuals and Handbooks (Weldon Library and Online)
Part research manual, part study guide, and part introduction to the study of history, Essaying the Past guides the reader through the nuts and bolts of producing good historical prose, offering key strategies and useful tips.
Using an accessible and straightforward style, this student friendly handbook offers step-by-step guidance on all aspects of the writing process, including: selecting a suitable topic, interpreting source materials, building persuasive arguments, and polishing the final draft.