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FYWB 1107: American Exceptionalism

Prof. Kristi Cassaro, Fall 2020

About This Guide

postcard of Thoreau's Cove, Lake Walden, Concord, Mass.Welcome! This page highlights key resources for the FYW American Exceptionalism research project, including the following:

  • Materials for the library workshop
  • Reference sources to find background and contextual information on your topics and the approaches you might be bringing to your research
  • Tips for searching for books
  • Databases for locating articles, including scholarly and peer-reviewed articles
  • Resources for citing your sources and writing
  • Tips to to help keep textbook costs down
  • Remote library services during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you would like assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation with your personal librarian.

Image: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Thoreau's Cove, Lake Walden, Concord, Mass." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1898 - 1931. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-366c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 

Steps in the Library Research Process

  • Think of a topic or question that you're really curious about and that really compels you. 
  • Write down some keywords and phrases that come to mind. You can use these to search for sources. Be open to the possibility of new keywords, and try out different combinations!
  • Explore backgrounds and contexts. Reference sources can help you with concepts and terms, and they can also lead you to other relevant sources.
  • Search for books and articles on your topic. Carefully skim each source---including the synopsis, abstract, table of contents, and/or index--- to assess how relevant and useful it will be to you.  Put back books or articles that aren't useful.
  • Document and cite your sources as you go along - this will make the paper-writing process much easier!