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This guide provides print, online, and local resources for historical research.

Getting Started

Basic steps in the research process:

  • Identify and develop your topic
  • Do a preliminary search for information covering your topic
  • Locate primary and secondary sources
  • Evaluate the quality and authority of the scholarly resources you plan to reference
  • Consult the resources you have chosen and take detailed notes 
  • Create an outline for your paper using the information you have collected
  • Cite all of your sources properly (check out the citation page on this guide for help)
  • Write your research paper
  • Proofread and edit your research paper

Brainstorm your ideas or create an outline for your paper!

Books at the library!

Online Resources

Resources at the 1905 Carnegie Library, in downtown Colorado Springs.

Recommended Websites:

Evaluating Web Resources

Anyone can publish a webpage without it being evaluated for accuracy or quality of information. Reviews by peers, scholars, editors, and publishers are not often applied to websites. The following evaluation criteria should be applied when viewing a website:

  • Authorship. Is the author identified? What are the author's credentials? For example, does the site include the author's position and institutional or organizational affiliation? Is the URL for an educational institution (.edu) or government agency (.gov)? 
  • Accuracy. Can the data be verified from other sources? Does the author have an obvious bias? Check the facts.
  • Audience. Is the site intended for scholars, professionals, or students?
  • Currency. Does the website include the date it was created and/or updated? Are the links current?
  • Coverage. Does the site state its intended scope? Is it designed to cover an entire subject, or to give detailed information on one aspect?
  • Relative Value. How does it compare to other sources of similar information? Are there other more accurate or complete sources - possibly in print format or a library database? Even with all of the useful information online, sometimes the most reliable resources are print books on the shelf at the library.

For additional information, check out the link below. This source offers detailed criteria that can be applied when conducting research on the internet.