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America Through Pictures: A Research Guide: Sources of Information

Use the following guide as a reference for your picture projects for Ms. Sepcie and Mr. Bresnan's U.S. History classes.

Objective

To locate at least six academic sources to support a developed thesis by utilizing searching tools such as databases and internet searching and evaluate their relevance and reliability

Questions for Research

Step 4: How can I find academic information to support my thesis?

  • Have a tried a variety of sources? (i.e. media, articles, primary sources, documentaries, other images)
  • Am I switching up my keywords? Trying synonyms, varying "nicknames", terminology, or different word combinations?
  • Have I tried to truncate my search term? (i.e. searching for child* will yield results with children, childhood, childcare, etc)
  • Am I combining database sources with internet searching?
  • Was I able to locate an author or publishing site? Can I verify that they are qualified to write and publish on the subject?
  • Am I locating sources that are close to their origin? (i.e.: primary and secondary sources vs. tertiary sources)
  • Am I searching up information that proves my thesis in facets or parts? For example:
    • My thesis: Poor living conditions during the Dust Bowl and public spending through New Deal programs, caused a decrease in the demand for agricultural child-labor and an increase in education for America's youth. 
    • My research facets: I may find information about...
      • ‚ÄčLiving conditions during the Dust Bowl for farmers, specifically how it affected children
      • Background information on how the Dust Bowl impacted farms and crop yields
      • History of the use of child labor during the 1930's in rural America
      • The origins of the public American education system in rural America
      • The enrollment, graduation statistics, and its effects on the classroom during the time period
      • Impact of higher graduation rates on the American education system and workforce, and move to urbanized/suburban areas
    • Using my analysis to connecting all my research facets together  - using the sources to support my connections rather than relying on them to make the connection for me.