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History Courses & Research: Websites

A Few Recommended Websites

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SIFT - Action plan to start evaluating

STOP then choose ONE of the next actions (you do not do all 3!)


Choose to investigate a source when you find something you think you'll want to read and cite.

  1. Add Wikipedia to the base url or author's name and search it.
  2. Check the Wikipedia page for quick credibility markers (that's where you can apply PATS).
  3. If there is no Wikipedia page, find something similar--preferably outside the original source.


Choose to find better, more trusted coverage when you come across a claim you'd like to use but want to cite a better source.

  1. Google the key terms. Use Google News if it's a news-worthy item; use Google Scholar if would be covered in a researched study.
  2. Snopes is okay to check for fake news, but always double-check citations.
  3. If it is an image, you can easily reverse-image search if you are in Chrome.


Choose to trace claims to their origin when you need to find who said it first.

  1. Google the key terms if your first source has no mention of the origin OR Google the actual terms if the source does mention the origin OR Follow any hyperlinked sources if they exist.
  2. Once you determine you are at the original source, use PATS to decide if the source is right for you.


PATS - questions to ask as you evaluate

What are the particular qualities that make a source credible in the history field?

How is authority constructed and contextual in the history field?

How do you examine your own bias and privilege while also examining the bias and privilege of others as you engage in scholarship?