The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to the different TYPES of information historians use in their research. You will learn how to identify and locate the following for your topic:
Before you begin to search for different resources on your topic, you must find out more information about your topic. Having this extra information, in the long run, will help you find the all the sources you need.
For example, if your topic is "Thomas Jefferson," you might want to know when was he born? What significant events or accomplishments is he associated with? If it is an event like "Nat Turner's Rebellion," when did the event occur? Who were the key individuals associated with the event?
Though you are not to use Wikipedia or other general references for this assignment, it is fine to do a Google search and jot down some basic, factual information about your topic so that you have some sort of idea about where to look and what keywords you need to use in your search.
For example, if you know that Nat Turner was an African American slave who led a rebellion in Virginia, you might think about searching for a specialized reference entry on him in a source such as an encyclopedia on notable African Americans or an encyclopedia on slavery in the United States.