Resources for Students

IntroductionWriting history requires an interesting topic, a well-defined question, a rich vein of evidence, and a particular set of skills. The web can be a useful source of both material and advice, but is also overflowing with misinformation, unsubstantiated assertion, and gossip.

The following sites are useful and reliable places to start exploring history online. You can find various guides to the nuts and bolts of researching and writing history; a brief introduction to the numerous reference works available through our own library and online; and an extensive list of resources for studying history, divided by region. You may also want to look at our own library‘s resources for evaluating websites.

Writing HistoryWriting Guides

Patrick Rael at Bowdoin College has published a comprehensive series of guides for Reading, Writing, and Researching for History.

The following are also useful sources of advice for writing history papers:

Grammar and style

Grammar has laws, style has rules. It’s worth learning them.

You can find further suggestions and online handouts for grammar and style through the links to online writing centers below.

Citing your sources

You must cite your sources. That is, you must let your reader know where all your information or ideas, not only direct quotations, come from.

Plagiarism can be cause for suspension or dismissal from Wake Forest. It is a growing problem on all college campuses but is also becoming increasingly easier to detect. The English Department gives the following definition of plagiarism, and the library provides a useful list of resources for learning how to avoid it.

Writing Centers

The following on-line writing labs (OWLs) provide rich resources for writers, including online handouts for various issues concerned with writing (from formulating a thesis to placing a comma).

The writing center provides trained tutors with whom you can discuss assignments and the writing process. The center is located in 117 Reynolda Hall and is open M-F, 9am-3pm and Th-Su 7-9pm.

Reference WorksNot everything is online, and you should become adept at using the rich resources of the ZSR library, all of which are accessible through their home page, and many of which you can find below, on the bottom left of your screen, in the Research and Classroom Tools folder on the Start menu. They include:

Two more useful gateways to scholarly and library resources are:

  • Infomine. Extensive searchable database of “academically valuable resources.”
  • Libraryspot. Commercial gateway to virtually every research source.

History ResourcesGeneral


East Asia


Latin America

Near East

United States