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This guide is designed to help you review the basics of doing historical research at the MSU Library. Use the tabs at the top of this guide to find information on how to search for books and articles at the library, the differences between primary and secondary sources, and the basics of writing citations. 

Online Reference Tools

Searching With A Purpose

Video tutorial to help with your research focus and getting started with searching.

Direct link to "Searching with a Purpose" in MSU MediaSpace

Video credit: Megan Kudzia

The Historical Research Process

Below are additional resources on the historical research process, from developing an initial question, to identifying sources and developing a thesis, to structuring your final paper. 


Guidelines for Historical Research and Writing (Minnesota Historical Society)

Reading, Writing, and Research for History (Patrick Rael, Bowdoin College)

Writing Historical Essays: A Guide for Undergraduates (Rutgers University)