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.
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.
- William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style. An authority on how to write clear English.
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.
- Citation style guides. Brief guides based on popular formats, including APA, MLA, and Turabian
- How to cite electronic sources.
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.
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).
- Purdue University On-Line Writing Lab. The most referenced OWL on the web. Huge numbers of handouts and research links.
- Trinity College Writing Center. Exceptional with links to sites with full texts of books, newspapers, magazines, et al. Includes a self-created newspaper service.
- University of Kansas Writer’s Roost. Includes handouts from OWLs across the country.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center. Straightforward handouts on reading assignments, creating arguments, writing transitions, and so on, as well as links to handouts from other centers. Good place to look for a handout on a specific topic.
- University of Wisconsin at Madison. Excellent and comprehensive writer’s handbook.
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.
- AskZak. Submit a question online to a reference librarian. [AskZak should be hot link to http://zsr.wfu.edu/ask ]
- Schedule a personal research session with a librarian.[“research session” should be hot link to http://zsr.wfu.edu/ask/prs ]
- Consult research guides for history at http://guides.zsr.wfu.edu/cat.php?cid=4383
- Search for relevant secondary sources for a research topic at Searching America History and Life
- Find early primary works printed in England between 1473 and 1700 at Using Early English Books Online (EEBO)
- To search for general primary sources on most topics, see Finding Primary Sources in the Online Catalog
Two more useful gateways to scholarly and library resources are:
- American Historical Association. The professional association for historians in the US, with links to various resources, including online publications and the Association’s newsletter, Perspectives.
- Background Notes. Extensive introductions to history, politics, society, and economy of countries of the world, published by US Dept of State.
- Center for History and New Media, at George Mason University. Exploring the potential of virtual history.
- CIA World Factbook. Capsule introductions to the countries of the world.
- ECHO. Exploring the history of science and technology online.
- E-Text center at University of Virginia.
- Historical Abstracts. Index to articles, books, and book reviews for all areas of history except the US and Canada.
- Historical Atlas of 20th Century. Excellent series of maps charting political, demographic, and other changes during last century.
- History Channel. Online resources provided by cable channel.
- History WWW Virtual Library. Central catalog and gateway to all aspects of history.
- H-Net. Gateway to numerous discussion networks covering all aspects of history and humanities. Most include links to other resources as well as ongoing discussions of various issues, suggestions for resources, etc. Discussions are indexed and searchable. Thematic networks include: H-Arete (sports history); H-Atlantic; H-Diplo; H-Environment; H-HistMajor (network for undergraduate history majors); H-Ideas; H-Labor; H-Mediterranean; H-Sci-Med-Tech; H-Urban; H-War (military history); H-Women; H-World.
- Internet History Sourcebooks. Largest collection of primary sources on the web, provided by Paul Halsall at Fordham.
- Library of Congress. Access to catalogs, databases, exhibitions, and more.
- Perry-Castaneda collection at University of Texas at Austin. Largest collection of maps online, includes historical maps.
- Shock-ing Geography. Excellent online exercises for improving your knowledge of geography.
- PCL Map Collection
- SunSITE. Electronic text initiative at UC Berkeley.
- Women’s history WWW Virtual Library.
- ZSR list of online history journals.
- ZSR list of online history databases.
- African studies WWW Virtual Library.
- Africa South of the Sahara.
- Center for Electronic Resources in African Studies
- H-Africa. African history and culture network.
- H-SAfrica. South African and southern Africa history and culture network.
- H-West-Africa. West African history and culture network.
- Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library.
- China Studies WWW Virtual Library.
- East Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library.
- H-Asia. Asian history network.
- H-Japan. Japanese history network.
- Japan Guide. Links to information resources.
- Early Modern England Source.
- Eurodocs. Primary documents from Western Europe.
- German History WWW Virtual Library.
- German Studies on the internet.
- H-Albion. British and Irish history network.
- H-France. French studies network.
- H-German. German history network.
- H-Italy. Italian history and culture network.
- H-Russia. Russian and Soviet history network.
- Italian history WWW Virtual Library.
- Labyrinth. A WWW server for medieval studies.
- Maps. Historical and cultural atlas initiative at University of Oregon.
- Russian History WWW Virtual Library.
- Russian and East European Studies WWW Virtual Library.
- Spanish History WWW Virtual Library.
- Handbook of Latin American Studies. Bibliography of scholarly work.
- H-Caribbean. Caribbean studies network.
- H-Mexico. Mexican history and studies network.
- H-LatAm. Latin American history network.
- Latin American studies WWW Virtual Library.
- H-Mideast-Medieval. Islamic lands of the medieval period.
- MidEast Studies information.
- MidEast Studies WWW Virtual Library.
- Africans in America. Website for PBS series.
- America: History and Life. Index to articles, books, and book reviews for US and Canadian history.
- American Memory. Library of Congress project. Gateway to over 7 million primary sources.
- American Studies Web at Georgetown. Historical and archival sources.
- Archiving Early America. Historic Documents from 19th Century America.
- Asian-Nation. Various aspects of Asian experience in America.
- Documenting the American South.
- H-AmIndian. American Indian history and culture.
- H-AmRel. American religious history.
- H-Appalachia. Appalachian history and studies.
- H-CivWar. US Civil War history.
- H-Pol. US political history.
- H-South. History of the US South.
- Maps. Historical and cultural atlas initiative at University of Oregon.
- National Archives and Records Administration.
- Native American Documents Projects.
- North American Women’s Letters and Diaries. Comprehensive bibliographies of women’s letters and diaries for over 2,000 publications from colonial period to 1950.
- SHOPtalk Southern Historians of the Piedmont
- Slave narratives. Excerpts.
- US historical documents.
- US history WWW Virtual Library.
- Women and Social Movements in the US, 1775-2000.