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History Seminar Research Paper Guide: Step 2: Locate Information

Locate information

Where do I start looking for information?

That depends on how much you know about your topic.  Do you know the definition of your topic (if applicable)?

  1. If you do not know much about your topic a great place to start is with a dictionary and a general or subject specific encyclopedia.  
  2. Next proceed to books about your more specific subject area
  3. Next look for even more narrowly focused journal and magazine articles
  4. Finally you should do an advanced internet search to find credible online sources

Research typically involves using a variety of types of sources. Remember that any of these types of sources might appear in a variety of formats - print, electronic, video, audio, etc. The format is usually immaterial to the content!  There are usually many FORMATS  for each TYPE of source.


  • Encyclopedias and dictionaries (print or ebook) -- general information
  • books (print, ebook, audio, etc) -- more specific information
  • videos -- video information included with specific information
  • periodical articles (print or electronic) -- even more specific information
  • statistical sources (all formats) -- data information
  • websites -- can contain a variety of types of sources