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History 364 - The Black Atlantic: Class Assignment

Exercise

Our goals for today:

A. Explore your topic and work towards turning it into a research question

B. Using library resources perform a preliminary literature review on your topic.  Find at least three sources that might be relevant to your topic.  Try to find:

  1. reference article
  2. book
  3. peer-reviewed journal article

Working in groups of two, brainstorm for ten minutes on each of your topics.  Explore relationships, concepts, variables, and potential revisions.  Look at results and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this topic too broad or too narrow?  If so, is there a relationship that has emerged that I can/should explore?
  • Is there a concept that I can focus on?
  • What variables do I know nothing about?
  • What areas or variables will need to be defined?
  • What areas or variables might necessitate primary source material?
  • Have you addressed the who, what, where, when, how, and why of your topic?

Pick out the KEY components of your topic.  List synonyms and variants for these key components.  Use your key components, synonyms and variants as search strategies with the library catalog, discovery system and primary sources in this guide to conduct a preliminary literature review on your topic.

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