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The Mistory Project: Tips

This research guide is designed to assist students with The Mistory Project.

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Research Tips

Here are some tips for conducting research*:

Don't forget to make a research consultation with the West Florida History Center and University Archives since many of their relevant collections may not be available online. 

Identify the key concepts pertaining to your research. (e.g., crime in Pensacola, criminal activity in West Florida, homicide and Pensacola)

Select databases covering law and crime from the Subject Research Guides to locate articles and search them using your key concepts. 

Books are broader in scope than articles, so search  for crime and Pensacola in the online catalog. 

Keep track of citations from databases and the catalog by using a citation manager, such as Refworks.  (see Refworks tutorial for more information)

Many articles and books are available online, but if you need an item owned by the library in print and you live over 50 miles from campus, use the Intercampus Loan form to request the item to be delivered to you.

Books and articles not owned by  UWF may be obtained from other libraries by using the Interlibrary Loan service. This is free and items will be delivered electronically to you or mailed to your home if you live over 50 miles from campus.

Review your material critically to ensure that it is scholarly, current enough, relevant, and appropriate for your research. (for example, there is a tutorial on distinguishing between scholarly and popular sources)

Create a rough draft and save it to your H drive or a flash drive, as well as to your hard drive if you are researching from home. Making a backup file is always a good idea.

Use the grammar and spell checks available to you in your word processing software.

Avoid plagiarism by using your own words and citing sources you use, especially quotes (there is an online tutorial on plagiarism for more information

Ask a colleague or friend to read the article to make sure it is logical and clearly written. 

Review your list of references for accuracy and add to your project.

*Adapted from Amanda Ziegler's libguide "Online Learners Library Guide: Research Tips", UWF Libraries

Narrative Outline from Dr. Clune

 I.   Describe an important site related to the crime scene.
   a.    Describe the site as it is today, its current use/purpose,
   b.    Provide a quick overview of the site's history from founding to present
   c.    Discuss the site's role in the crime and details about the site at the time of the crime

Note:  this may be the crime scene or the location where the perpetrators were arrested, where the victim was found, courthouse where the trial was held, jail, residence of the victim or perpetrator, etc.

Note:  This is also where you would set the historical context of the crime, any economic, cultural, political contexts. You would describe the city, section of city, neighborhood, or town at the time of the crime.

 II.   Describe the related crime, what the police found when they arrived, what was the suspected motive, who were the victims, any witnesses, any immediate suspects.

Note:  Do not focus on the perpetrators. That will come at the end when you give a detailed account of how the crime occurred and the, such as a prison sentence or, perhaps, execution.  This is the crime at first blush, information that might come from early newspaper accounts, prior to the investigation, when there are still many unknowns.

III.   Describe the victims as best you can from the information you have--any information you have such as age, profession, family situation, etc.

IV.   Describe any law enforcement officials or private investigators who play prominent roles investigating the crime, rounding up the suspects, solving the mystery, etc.

V.   Describe the suspects in the crime in as much detail as possible.

VI.   Describe any trials, noteworthy information on lawyers, judges, jury members, witness testimony, but only if relevant to the story. Include the verdict in the case.

VII.   Describe the crime in detail from information that came out in the investigation and/or trial.

VIII.  Discuss any appeals of the case.

IX.    Conclude by describing the resolution to the crime, the fate of the case. Did it become a cold case? What became of the suspects or  perpetrators.

X.     Return the focus to the historical site and the modern environment in which the site exists.

Subject Guide


Dean DeBolt
University Archivist
(850) 474-2213


Timothy Bulger
Archives Manager
(850) 474-2794