Mashantucket Pequot Museum Library and Archives Blog

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Question and answer: Narrowing your topic

Question: I am a senior history student at ______ University. My last research paper is due this semester and I would like to do it on the Native Americans after Manifest Destiny. I was wondering if you could guide me to some information on this topic. Thank you.

Answer: Thanks for contacting us with your question. The topic you propose is a little too broad, but I can give you some suggestions to narrow it down. If by “manifest destiny” you mean 19th century U.S. expansion, then it seems you want to explore Native American history 20th century and beyond? Some suggestions: narrow it to a specific tribe or geographic area (such as Pacific Northwest, Great Plains, etc.). You could also, or in addition, focus on specific sub-topics such as

-Indian urbanization
-Indian activism and resistance movements
-Land tenure
-Native American’s involvement in the US military
-U.S. government’s American Indian policy

Try exploring our collection through the online catalog:
Do some keyword searching there and see what you come up with. Our collection has over 50,000 titles on Native American history and culture, so it is a good representation of what has been published. We do not lend or participate in interlibrary loan, but you should be able to get most of what we have through your university’s library system.

Feel free to ask if you need further assistance.


Joseph Frawley
Reference / Info Tech Librarian
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center

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