Choosing a Topic

November 30, 2010 |  Tagged | Comments Off on Choosing a Topic

Worksheet on Choosing a Topic

Choosing a topic for any paper is a process. Completing each of the following steps (in any order), should help you choose a topic that is appropriate for the assignment.

  1. Briefly describe the library research that you did towards choosing a topic. Include at least two reference books that you used and three library card catalog subject headings that you found useful.

Reference Book that I found were: Leaders of the American Civil War : a biographical and historiographical dictionary and Shapers of the great debate on the Civil War : a biographical dictionary

Subject headings that I found useful were: Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891.; United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865.; United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865 — Campaigns — Sources.

  1. Briefly describe the internet research that you did. What words did you google successfully? Name at least one useful website. Do not include web based library card catalogs in this section.

I searched for a number of different terms including General Sherman, March to the Sea, and total war.  A useful website that I came across was

  1. You should talk to at least one member of this history department about your topic, or at least an expert in your field. Name that expert and briefly describe his/her comments.

Dr. McClurken said that it would be better if I narrowed down my topic to a specific event or aspect.

  1. You must have a primary source for this paper.  Provide any pertinent information on that primary source including website and/or call number

Sherman, William T. Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman. New York: Penguin Books, 2000.  Call Number E467.1.S55 S52 2000

  1. Are enough secondary sources available on this topic? Tell me a bit about what you found.

There are tons of secondary sources on Sherman. It is a popular topic.

  1. Finally, describe your conversations with me about your topic and how your topic has evolved as a result.

I didn’t have many conversations about the topic. The main thing each time is that it should be more focused.


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