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New Jersey History Day 2015: Reference Resources

A guide to sources for New Jersey History Day 2015 research projects.

Reference Resources for History

In the earliest stages of a research project, when you are looking for a possible topic or gethering basic information about a topic you have in mind, some of the best tools to use are reference resources: bibliographies, guides to research for specific subjects, specialized historical or biographical enclyclopedias, and related works. These materials are designed to provide you with an introductory overview of a topic. The best reference works:

  • are written by experts in their subjects
  • will suggest many possible paper topics to you (or help you narrow down a topic that is too broad)
  • provide basic facts, background, and contextual information for a subject
  • give you a good idea of the major questions and debates historians have explored in relation to a subject
  • may give you a good idea of the major primary sources available for a subject
  • will provide a brief but carefully selected bibliography of important secondary works about the subject

We invite you to try our new Credo Reference portal to full-text and image reference sources.

In sum, reference resources are very efficient tools to use in the early stages of research paper topic selection and topic refinement; they are practical stepping stones to the next stages of your project. They can save you time and should be consulted as you begin your work.

Subject Guide

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Richard Kearney
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Electronic Resources Librarian
Reference and Information Services Office, Room 107g
David and Lorraine Cheng Library
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ 07470