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HIST 300: Source Evaluation. Tami Smith Langsdale Library 410-837-4274 langref@ubalt.edu AIM: UBLangsdale. Review. Why is it important to develop a focused research topic? Why do we need to use alternative keywords in our searches? How do we use ANDs and ORs correctly in a search?

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hist 300 source evaluation
HIST 300: Source Evaluation

Tami Smith

Langsdale Library



AIM: UBLangsdale

  • Why is it important to develop a focused research topic?
  • Why do we need to use alternative keywords in our searches?
  • How do we use ANDs and ORs correctly in a search?
  • Name three differences between a journal and a magazine.
  • If you need research help, what should you do?

After last session, you should be able to:

  • Generate a search strategy with keywords
  • Identify 1-2 subject-specific databases and locate 4-5 journal citations on your topic
objectives con t
Objectives (con’t)

At the end of today’s session, you will be able to:

  • Find journal articles and books in Langsdale, determine the location of articles and books in other nearby libraries or order the item through ILL
  • Use a set of criteria to evaluate sources online or in print.
  • Write a basic book and article citation in the Chicago/Turabian style
subject headings
Subject headings

Subject Headings

World War, 1939-1945 -- Propaganda.

Propaganda -- History.

subject headings7
Subject headings

Call Numbers

  • Library of Congress Classification System
    • Each series of letters assigned broad subject area; more specified topics assigned to specific series of numbers.
subject headings8
Subject headings

Call Numbers

  • Subclass D
  • D1-2009 History (General)
    • D410-(475) 20th century
      • D461-(475) Eastern question
    • D501-680 World War I (1914-1918)
    • D720-728 Period between World Wars (1919-1939)
    • D731-838 World War II (1939-1945)
    • D839-860 Post-war history (1945-)
    • D880-888 Developing countries
    • D890-893 Eastern Hemisphere
    • D900-2009 Europe (General)
    • D901-980 Description and travel
    • D1050-2009 History
subject headings9
Subject headings

Call Numbers

Subclass E

E11-143 America

E151-889 United States

E780 Internal history during World War I

E784-805 1919-1933. Harding-Coolidge-Hoover era. "The twenties"

E785-786 Harding's administration, 1921-August 2, 1923

E791-796 Coolidge's administration, August 2, 1923-1929

E801-805 Hoover's administration, 1919-1933

E806-812 Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administrations, 1933-April 12, 1945

E813-816 Truman's administrations, April 12, 1945-1953

E835-837.7 Eisenhower's administrations, 1953-1961

subject headings10
Subject headings

Call Numbers

  • Subclass F
  • F1-975 United States local history
    • F106 Atlantic coast. Middle Atlantic States
      • F116-130 New York
      • F131-145 New Jersey
      • F146-160 Pennsylvania
      • F161-175 Delaware
      • F176-190 Maryland
      • F191-205 District of Columbia. Washington
subject headings11
Subject headings

Call Numbers

  • HM1231 .C85 2003
  • HMRead the first part in alphabetical order:A, B, BF, C, D, DB, DQ, … H, HA, HD, HM…
  • 1231Read the second part as a whole number:1, 2, 3, 45, 66, 100, 101, 800, 1000, 1200, 2000...
  • .C85The third part is a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, e.g.: .C8 = .800 .C85 = .850 .C857 = .857
subject headings12
Subject headings

Call Numbers – Shelf Order

types of sources
Types of Sources

Primary Source:original accounts or records of historical events

  • Newspaper, magazine and journal articles
  • Diaries, journals, speeches, interviews, letters
  • Memoirs and autobiographies
  • Government records
  • Photographs, documentaries, sound recordings
  • Survey Research
types of sources14
Types of Sources

Secondary Source:materials that are written later and/or provide historical analysis

  • Textbooks
  • Encyclopedias and dictionaries
  • Biographies
  • Books
  • Newspaper, magazine and journal articles
types of sources15
Types of Sources

In a nutshell…

  • Primary Sources: What happened?
  • Secondary Sources: How/Why did it happen?
evaluating sources
Evaluating Sources


  • Find the best information for your needs
  • The more authoritative the source, the stronger your argument
  • Anyone can publish anything (especially on the web)
evaluating sources17
Evaluating Sources
  • Find the best information for your needs
  • The more authoritative the source, the stronger your argument
  • Anyone can publish anything (especially on the web)
evaluating sources18
Evaluating Sources

The Five W’s of Evaluation

  • Who are the authors and what are their credentials (expertise)?
  • When was the information published or written?
  • Where did they get the information?
  • Why is this information being shared?
evaluating web sources
Evaluating Web Sources

Types of Web Domains

.com = Commercial/Business (promotional)

.edu = Educational (research or personal)

.gov = U.S. Government (factual)

.mil = U.S. Military (factual)

.net = Network Provider (business and personal)

.org = U.S. Non-Profit Organizations (advocacy)

evaluating web sources20
Evaluating Web Sources

Exercise: Web Evaluation

  • Complete the worksheet
  • Brief discussion
evaluating sources21
Evaluating Sources

Find out more about a source

  • Reviews (newspapers, journals, magazines, etc.)
  • Search Engine/Directory (Google, Yahoo… SuperPages)
  • Books
evaluating sources22
Evaluating Sources
  • http://langsdale.ubalt.edu/howto/tutorials/evaluate_web/index.htm
  • http://skylinecollege.net/library/evaluate.html
  • http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html
  • For what can you search in the library catalog?
  • How can you obtain a book from another USM library?
  • How are UB’s books and journals organized?
review cont
Review (cont.)
  • What are primary sources?
  • Why is it important to evaluate your sources?
  • How can you find out more about a source?



For more information:

Tami Smith tsmith@ubalt.edu

Langsdale langref@ubalt.edu

Reference Desk: 410-837-4274

AIM: UBLangsdale