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Generally, information develops from specific to broad. An event happens, people report on it, people analyze it, and it becomes a part of the historical narrative. Your research sources should move in the opposite direction, from broad to narrow. Start your research in Reference Sources and then find some Secondary Sources which will lead you to Primary Sources! Take notes in reference sources to answer the "who, what, when and where" facts on your topic, and write down alternate terminology to use as keywords when searching for secondary sources. When you develop a thesis, you will then be able to answer the "why" question after gathering information and evidence to support your claim.
Reference sources give you an overview of your topic. They help you identify alternate key words that will aid you in searching the online catalog and various electronic databases. Also, reference sources often include bibliographies that give suggestions for further reading, which can include books, articles and/or websites. The reference sources listed below are only examples of the books that can be found in the Garver Room (silent study room), there are hundreds of more reference books available. Use the link in the box above to find reference sources in print on your topic. Use broad terms, such as "Arab Spring" for best results.