Skip to main content

HIST 116 - Women in American History - Mo

This research guide will help you with your research projects in Eva Mo's class

Why Research Questions Matter

You want to approach your research as a quest to uncover answers to questions that didn't exist before. Seeking information to answer research questions is fun and it helps you explore your topic fully.

The video below explains why you should always begin your search for relevant, credible information by creating a list of research questions that will drive your research.

__________________________________

What Makes Information Useful?

Once you've thought about your topic and you've decided what questions you want to spend your energy and time answering, you're ready to start gathering information that'll help you explore different and specific aspects of your topic.

Finding information is not difficult; the challenge is focusing your search enough to find useful information. What makes information useful anyway?

Useful information:

  • Will answer your research questions,
  • Is appropriate for your assignment, and
  • Is from a reliable source.

You don't want to waste your time gathering a bunch of irrelevant, unreliable information that you can't use in your paper.

Your Topic

Your Topic:

How did gender roles from colonial times to early nineteenth century (1830s) define men and women’s political and economic lives?

Guiding Questions to Address:

Use the questions below to help you explore your broader topic above. By focusing on specific guiding questions, you'll build your understanding of your topic and be able to explain different key aspects of it. You'll be able to write a more nuanced and developed argument about your broader topic.

Also, it's easier to tackle a topic when you break it down into meaningful pieces. Your instructor provided these guiding questions for you to address:

  • When did roles begin to change and why? For this question, you need to group periods that you find different from one another, but you don’t need to group them in smaller sections than centuries or portions of centuries.
  • An adequate essay must address both the political and economic issues. For example, in terms of economic: what were men and women’s work roles and were these defined by gender conceptions? Did women work (better know the answer to this one)? Were they part of the economic exchange system?
  • Ask yourself the same kinds of questions in terms of politics (power, office holding, political leadership, voting, etc.). What effect did the American Revolution have on political opportunities?