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AMH 4990: North American Maritime Frontiers

Research Assignment


The annotated bibliography is the intellectual scaffolding for your research paper.  The annotated bibliography should only include secondary scholarship that relates to your research paper.  

For help and examples, see the following library tutorials:


The research paper is 10-12 pages (2500 – 3000 words) in length.  Each paper must include original interpretation of secondary and primary resources:

  • you should have at least 8 significant secondary sources that provide historiography and theoretical context
  • the paper should be based on approximately 30 to 50 percent primary material
  • NONE of your primary or secondary sources can come from popular, non-scholarly websites!  Do not use Britannica or Wikipedia.  If you use any of these you will be deducted 5 points! 
  • You can use online books and journals accessed through the library's electronic resources (e.g. OneSearch, JSTOR, America: History and Life), but you may not use general websites as secondary sources
  • there are numerous primary documents available on the internet - those are acceptable if they come from an academic, professional, or governmental institution (.edu or .gov. domain)

Tips for Finding Sources

1.  Scholarly books - search the library catalog.  Look for books published by academic presses or professional organizations, or by educated scholars in the field.

2.  Scholarly articles - search OneSearch and limit results to Academic Journals, or search in a subject database.

3.  Authoritative online sources (websites) - use Google Advanced search to limit results to .edu or .gov domains

     Use the CRAAP test for evaluating websites:

  • C - currency
  • R - relevance
  • A - authority
  • A - accuracy
  • P - purpose

4. Primary sources - see the Primary Sources tab of this guide

Assignment Calculator

Use this Assignment Calculator to help develop a research timeline.