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A.P/U.S History Research Guide : Home


Welcome to the AP/U.S History Research Guide.

This guide is designed to help students taking AP U.S History and U.S History with their research and class assignments. 


Research Tips

READ THIS to understand how to research with library databases

1. Library databases DON'T use Natural Language. You can't ask it a question or type in your thesis statement. Instead you have to simplify and input keywords and concepts instead. 

2. Multiple keywords/Concepts MUST be separated by one of the Boolean Operators. These are AND, OR, NOT. They instruct the database to give you certain results. 

Here is what Boolean Operators DO: 

Keyword X AND Keyword Y = I want sources that mention BOTH keywords. 

Keyword X OR keyword Y= I want sources that mention both keywords OR either keyword individually

Keyword x NOT keyword y = I only want sources that mention keyword x and none that have any mention of keyword y. 

3. Library database search results are based on what you input into the search bar. If you are not getting results you want, try different keywords and/or concepts. Sometimes it's good to do some basic and preliminary searches with reference sources to get an overview of a topic first. This way you will have more keywords and concepts to write into your library database search bar.