Link to Cal U home

HIS295: Craft of History: Home

In-Class Activity

It is important for you to have a good handle on how to evaluate the scholarliness of sources as you are conducting research.This activity will help with that.

***Work with a partner on this***

Open the two articles (as PDF Full-text) linked below and compare/contrast them using the following criteria (you do not need to read the entire articles, just scan through them and skim a few sections):

  • Authorship: who is the author and what are his/her credentials?
  • Content Level: Is it intended for scholars or general readers? Does it contain in-depth analysis and research? Or, is it more of a summary or introduction to the topic? Is that language/writing technical?
  • Layout, Organization, Overall "look": Is it divided into sections (methodology, abstract, conclusions)? What sorts of graphics are there?
  • Supporting Evidence: Is there any? How can you tell? What do I even mean by "supporting evidence"?


Article 1 - King of the Bootleggers


Article 2 - Caging the Blind Tiger


Are there any other criteria that could help you determine the "scholarliness" of the sources?

Citation Activity

Use the resources on the History Library Guide to locate these resources.

  • You may work alone or with a partner.
  • For each citation, answer the following:
  1. Is it a book, journal article, or other type of source?
  2. Which database(s) did you use to locate the source?
  3. Is it available in full-text online, in print in the library, or would you have to request it from another library?


Bairnsfather, Bruce. Bullets and Billets. London: Grant Richards, 1916.  

Braybon, Gail, and Penny Summerfield. Out of the Cage: Women’s Experiences in Two World Wars. London: Pandora Press, 1987. 

Cook, Tim. “Chemical Weapons.” In World War I : Encyclopedia, edited by Priscilla Mary Roberts, and Spencer Tucker, 289-292. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2005.

MacLeod, Roy. “The Chemists Go to War: The Mobilization of Civilian Chemists andthe British War Effort, 1914–1918.” Annals of Science 50 (1993): 455–81. 

Marrs, Timothy C., Robert L. Maynard, and Frederick R. Sidell. “Opinions of Chemical Warfare.” In Chemical Warfare Agents: Toxicology and Treatment, 1–26. Chichester, England: Wiley, 1996.  

Reader, W. J. “The Forerunners, 1870–1926 Vol. 1 of Imperial Chemical Industries: A History. London: Oxford University Press, 1970. 

Reid, Brian Holden. “‘A Signpost that Was Missed’? Reconsidering British Lessons from the American Civil War.” Journal of Military History 70, no. 2 (April 2006): 385–414.

This site is maintained by Loring Prest, Library Webmaster and Carol Jones, Library Information Systems Administrator.
© California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419, All Rights Reserved.