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ENGL 101 - Beggs - History Through Different Eyes: Home

Use this guide to help find sources for your essay analyzing the multiple perspectives through which commentators (historians, scholars, journalists, and regular citizens) view your topic (event, person, institution, or movement).

Preliminary reading

Research questions

Evaluate your sources

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Select an interesting, appropriate topic

Choose an era that you find interesting and read the sections on that era in both books. 

  • Pay attention to particular events, people, or institutions that you may want to further explore.
  • Make sure these events, people, and/or institutions are adequately discussed in both textbooks so you will have something to compare and contrast. You will also be finding and using other sources, but it's still a good idea to start with a topic discussed in your course texts.

Do background reading on your topic

Read overview articles about your topic in Gale eBooks to learn more about it.

Create some research questions to focus your research and reading

​Come up with some research questions that will help guide your research and reading. Below are some sample questions, but you are free to come up with your own!

1. Why is this topic important in the context of American history?

2. What are the basic background facts on my topic? (who, what, when, where)

If your topic is covered in one of the two histories (Zinn; Schweikart and Allen), ask yourself:

3. How do the two texts differ in their description of my topic (why and how)? 

4. How does Zinn's telling of the story reflect his values?

5. What sources can I find to back up the Zinn interpretation of my topic?

6. How does Schweikart & Allen's telling of the story reflect their values?

7. What sources can I find to back up the Schweikart & Allen interpretation of my topic?

And consider these questions:

8. Am I finding sources with significantly different takes on my subject?

9. How do my sources give away their perspective or slant? Do they put a lot of emphasis on one aspect of my topic and shortchange another? How do their word choices betray their view or even bias?

10. What conclusions can I draw from exploring the same topic from different perspectives?

Start finding answers to your research questions

Look up your topic and find overviews, detailed discussions, and primary sources in our History databases.

Find academically credible web sources

Use Google Scholar to find sources written by other historians.

Google Scholar Search

Find eBooks

Find eBooks for more insight on your topic.

eBooks in the eBook Collection: EBSCOhost collection can be read in their entirety online. Pages, chapters and sections can be downloaded, printed, emailed, and cited in MLA style.

Make sure you're up to speed on MLA

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