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HIST 236 German History 1740-1918

A research guide for Ms. Maria Höhn's course.

Book Review Assignment

You must indentify a book as a starting point for your research paper and submit a 5 page book review.  Ms. Höhn describes, "Hopefully the book will give you a broad overview of the topic, but will also help you narrow your research question."

You can find books at Vassar in our library catalog. If Vassar does not have what you need, try Connect NY, or WorldCat (for items available through InterLibrary Loan). 

Another helpful way to identify books is to navigate through SUBJECT HEADINGS in the library catalog.  To get started, you can do a keyword search, or you can look up the title of a book you used in class, or was recommended to you by Ms. Höhn, and click on its subject headings to find more books on the same topic.

Explore Subject Headings

Find more sources

** As you research, write down every keyword you stumble on, people's names, events, subject headings, EVERYTHING.

** Consult Reference books like historical dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographies, etc. Do not underestimate these sources, they provide essential historical context, great "see also" references, and bibliographies of primary and secondary sources.

**Remember you don't need to read a book in its entirety necessarily (other than the one you read for your book review).  A book may have just a chapter relevant to your topic. Sometimes, just the footnotes and bibliography in a book are all you need.  Always look at footnotes and bibliographies. These citations lead you to essential sources adn are the means through which your writing and research engages the broader scholarly conversation on a topic.

**In addition to book length secondary sources, you can look for articles published in a scholarly journal by searching in an index. Scholarly journals include articles and book reviews. The book reviews usually contextualize the book they are reviewing with other books on the same topic, so book reviews help you find more book citations.


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