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Research Guide Portal:: Start Researching - History

LSC-Tomball: Library Research Guides



United States History

Western Civilization

World Civilization

Mexican-American History

African-American History

Start Keyword Brainstorming

Help with Keywords

Steps of a Research Paper

  1. Develop a Research Question: "How far is it to the moon?" "Who was Shakespeare's Dark Lady?" "How many plums make five?"
  2. Form a thesis: "Marsh iron, though brittle, was a key to the Vikings' success in establishing the Danelaw in England."
  3. Create a keyword brainstorm: "Double Indemnity," "Fred MacMurray," "Barbara Stanwyck," "film noir"
  4. Research and locate sources, including electronic books and articles from databases 
  5. Draft the body of your paper
  6. Revise your paper using additional research or writing help from the tutors in the Extended Learning Center in the Library.
  7. Proofread and edit.

Research Project Tips

Starting your research project can feel overwhelming, especially if the topic is lengthy or your topic broad. Here are some tips to get you start on the right path and help you not feel overwhelmed. 

Start Researching:

  • Write out your full research question.
  • Narrow down the key terms, these you will use to search with.
  • Use the Key Word pdf to map out your key words with possible synonyms and related terms that overlap with your topic area.
    • Example: 
  • Review assignments requirements for they type of resources are required.
    • Example: Professors may require a mixture of academic journals, books or newspapers. 
    • Professors might limit websites or other resource types. It varies per assignment.
  • Use the Keyword Research Sheet below to guide your process.
  • Start using your search terms to find relevant resources.

Narrow Your Results:

  • Narrow to Full Text, or Full Free Text ONLY. Abstracts will not be helpful for your needs.
  • Narrow by document type such as academic journals, electronic books, or book reviews depending on your assignment's requirement.
  • When you find a relevant article use the subject headings, and the resources listed at the end to find similar resources.
  • Use your key word search to try different search terms to achieve better results.