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Latin American History

A guide for patrons researching the history of Latin America at the UO Libraries.

Step 1 - Start with a Research Question

Starting with a research question means approaching your research with curiosity and an open mind. You should let your question guide you both in practical terms of helping you come up with search terms (keywords) as well as in avoiding bias by assuming you know the outcome or answer.

Check out this tutorial from Arizona State Libraries to get started:

Choosing Your Topic is Research (Video Tutorial)

Watch this short video from NC State University Libraries about choosing a research topic.

Step 1 - Pause to Reflect

Step one not only requires that you come up wth a research question or topic that is narrow enough to explore for an undergraduate research paper, but it also requires that you consider what type of information you will need to find in order to answer your research question.

  1. Is your topic so large you could write a whole book or PhD thesis on it? If so, you should try to narrow your topic down to something manageable within the time you have and the number of pages or words your instructor is requiring.
  2. Is your topic so specific that you can't find information about it? Go to step 3 to learn how to search more strategically and broaden your search out a bit.
  3. Do you need some basic facts, dates, or names of historical people or specific theories? If so, go on to step 2: Find Background Information.
  4. When you are ready, go to step 3 to learn how and where to search for information on your topic.

Mt Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon.

 Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon, USA. Image in Public Domain.

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University of Oregon Libraries
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97403-1299
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