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Step-by-Step Guide & Research Rescue: French History & Politics

This guide will help you understand how to efficiently and effectively do basic research.

Step 1. Locate French History & Politics Background Information

This guide leads you through the research process for French History & Politics topics. For general tips on the research process, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.

Related Subject Guide - French Studies


For Specialized print encyclopedias, use the Social Sciences/Education Reference collection, Level 1:

  • Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000 (Soc Sci Ref HN 373 .E63 2001)
  • Europe, 1450 to 1789: An Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World (Soc Sci Ref D 209 .E97 2004) - available online through Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia (Soc Sci Ref D 1051 .E87x 2001)
  • France: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present (Soc Sci Ref DC 35 .R64 2004)
  • Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution 1789-1799 (Soc Sci Ref DC 147 .H57 1984)
  • Medieval France: An Encyclopedia (Soc Sci Ref & Hum Ref DC 33.2 .M44 1995)

For Specialized online encyclopedias, use the following databases. For subject specific background resources, use the French Studies Subject Guide.

Steps 4 & 5: Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper

For tips on Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.

Step 2. Develop & Narrow Your Topic

After reading Background Resources, you should be able to fill out the following "From Topic to Research Focus" formula.  NOTE: This is NOT the same as your Thesis Statement.  Your Thesis Statement is developed after you read Research Materials about your issue/question, determine your stance, and decide how you will present your attitude/angle/argument. For examples of how to use the "From Topic to Research Focus" rubric, click on the Develop and Narrow Topic tab at the top of this page.

1)  I am researching ______________________________________ (topic)
2)  because I want to find out _______________________________  (issue/question)
3)  in order to ____________________________________________ (application)

Organize your Research Focus into concepts: identify terms, think of synonyms, and organize them using this chart.

(Concept 1) _______________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 1)

AND (Concept 2) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 2)

AND (Concept 3) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 3)

Step 3. Find Research Materials for French History & Politics topics

For Books use the Books & More search to find specific titles from the bibliographies you noted above. Use the Books & More - Advanced Search to find additional books on your issue question. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box.

For Articles use the Articles & More - Advanced Search selecting Collection: History & Geography and Social Sciences. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box. Click Go to begin the search. Click on the title of the article to read the abstract. Click the Full Text Available and Check for Full Text to view the entire article.

To retrieve additional articles, connect to the databases linked below, or select them from Databases A-Z in the Databases & Journals box on the Library Home Page. Depending on how you have narrowed your subject, other databases listed on the French Studies Subject Guide may also be appropriate.