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History: Getting Started

Subject Research Guide
Subjects: History
Tags: history

Search for Background Information


Reference materials such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, guides, and handbooks, are especially useful at the beginning of your research. These publications can provide an overview and history of your topic as well as cover key concepts and issues. They may also give you ideas for how to narrow down a topic. Look for a bibliography or list of references at the end of a reference book article for more possible relevant material.
Iona College Libraries has both print and electronic reference publications.


These books in Ryan Library take you step by step through the process of researching and writing in history.
Unless stated otherwise, all books are located in the Reference Room on the 1st floor of Ryan Library.

Steps in the Research Process

Research may follow a linear path, although at times you may have to go back to review where you are in the process.  Here is a basic list of steps you may use to help you navigate through the process.

  • Choose topic
  • Find Background Information
  • Narrow Down or Refine Your Topic As Needed
  • Prepare to Search
  • Find information
    • Books and Multimedia
    • Journal, Magazine, Newspaper Articles
    • Internet Resources
  • Evaluate what you've found
  • Cite what you use