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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

FSEM HIST202: American History: History of Fredericksburg: Home

Welcome

Beginning Your Research

Research is a step-by-step process:

Step 1. Identify Your Topic

  • Read your assignment carefully to make sure you know what you need to do to complete it.
  • Talk to your professor if you are unsure about your topic.
  • Make sure your topic is not too broad or too narrow.
  • Most importantly, pick a topic you find interesting!

Step 2. Obtain Background Material on Your Topic

  • Subject encyclopedias and other reference works can be useful in locating background information.
  • Background on your topic can help you understand and refine your topic and find the best words to use in your searches.

Step 3. Find Books

  • Use the "Search the Catalog" search box on the "Search Quest and the Catalog" tab to look for books in the library's collections.
  • This will include the books on the shelves in Simpson Library as well as thousands of eBooks.

Step 4: Find Articles

  • The library's discovery tool, Quest, allows you to search across many of the library's databases. The "Search Quest and the Catalog" tab has a search box for Quest.

Head of Special Collections & University Archives

Other Useful Guides

Citing Your Sources

  • Don't forget that you will have to cite and document the sources you use.
  • Both the library and the Writing Center can help you in citing resources correctly.

First-Year Seminars 

  • Research guide with additional  FSEM  information

History & American Studies 

Zotero Guide

  • Zotero is software that helps you create citations and bibliographies. It's free and easy to use.