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History 320: Nation/Empire in Russian History

If You Need Assistance

Welcome to the online research guide for History 320

Hello!  My name is Ken Johnson and I am the librarian working with your History class this spring.

What is a Research/Instruction Librarian (my job description)?
Research/Instruction Librarians visit your class to teach you about the resources available to you in the St. Olaf Libraries and beyond, and teach you how to go about doing research.  We also assist you once you are working on your projects and can help you find materials, help you brainstorm your topic, and help you with citations.  Our primary goal is to help you succeed!

You can use the "Request research consultation" link in my profile on the left side of this page.  Just pick a date and time you can meet with me and fill out the form.  You will be able to see if it is a day that I will be on campus in which case you can meet with me in person if you wish.  Otherwise, if I am working from home or if you prefer meeting virtually, you will get a calendar invitation with a Google Meet link in it.  The form allows you to upload any work that you would like me to see before our appointment.

Peer Research Tutors are available Monday through Thursday from 7-10 pm and Sundays from 7-9 pm.

Topic Selection & Searching

Some steps to consider while developing your research topic:

  1. Do some preliminary searching (in Catalyst and relevant databases) to determine if your research topic is viable.  You want to make sure that the resources are there to support your topic.  Your professor can help with this too.
  2. Once you have decided on a topic where there seems to be plenty of support, begin thinking about and collecting keywords:
    1. Words and phrases that showed up in some of the preliminary searching you did
    2. Words and phrases you picked up by reading required sources for your class
    3. Words and phrases you picked up by consulting encyclopedias
  3. Searching Catalyst and relevant databases
    1. Consult the online research guide and/or the A-Z list
    2. When searching Catalyst pay attention to subject links and table of contents notes
    3. When searching databases pay attention to subjects and abstracts
  4. Working with your sources
    1. Look at indexes and table of contents to locate relevant information
    2. Mine bibliographies to locate other sources