South African Boarding Schools (English and/or Afrikaans)
Dutch Reformed Church
Anglican Church in South Africa
Zulu Warrior Culture
Zulu Leadership (Shaka, Dingaan)
South Africa’s role in World War II
Rise of National Socialism in South Africa
The Transvaal Region
South African Railways
South African Rugby (Springboks)
South African Football/Soccer (Bafana Bafana)
South African Cricket
South African Boxing
South African Mining (Coal, Chromium, Zinc, Gold, Antimony)
Mining in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (Diamonds/Copper/Gold)
Irish Diaspora in South Africa
Indian Diaspora in South Africa
First Anglo-Boer War (1880-81)
Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902)
Dutch Slave Trade
Union of South Africa
South African Christian Evangelism (Apostolic Christianity/”born-again Christians”)
South African Internment/Concentration Camps
Tribal relationships in South Africa
Establishment of the South African Republic
The four racial classifications of apartheid
The rise of apartheid – Nationalist Party
The economic advantages and disadvantages of apartheid
The social advantages and disadvantages of apartheid
The political advantages and disadvantages of apartheid
The Bantu educational system
Bantustan (the “homelands system”)
The African National Congress
The construction of townships
Jews in South Africa
South African Labor Unions
Biodiversity of the Eastern Transvaal
Before you begin your research, it's a good idea to develop a plan. Sometimes it is tempting to just dive in, but it is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of information. Follow these search strategy tips to keep you on track and use your time wisely.
I know this seems obvious, but it really is important. Highlight or underline parts of the assignment that you think you may have difficulty with or forget. There is nothing worse than thinking you are almost finished and realizing you didn't meet half the assignment's criteria. Ask questions if you are confused. Now is the time to clear up confusion, not the night before the due date. Consider:
Once you have a topic, consider "what do I know" and "what do I want to know." As you begin, you may not know much. That's why it is a great idea to start with an overview. It may be tempting to start by checking out the 500 page long book on your topic, but let's be honest: Are you really going to read the whole thing cover to cover? Instead, use this libguide to look for general information in:
As you do this, pay attention to:
These steps will help you in your future searches and comprehension.
Google is great, but sometimes searching requires more planning and revision. Before searching come up with some keywords. Consider:
As you search resources such as databases, volume indexes and the Internet, try using combinations of these keywords and see how it changes your search results.
OK, you found some great sources. Now take the time to see what you have found. Read the sources, take notes and begin to notice themes.
If you are using sources that you have found on your own (i.e. not on JSTOR, AVL, the books and websites suggested in the libguide, etc.) you will need to evaluate them. Detailed evaluation recommendations are found on the websites tab, but consider the source's:
And a question to always ask is: Is this going to help me? You may have found a great article on the current state of music in South Africa, but if your project is on the First Anglo-Boer War, you are probably going to have to set it aside.
At this point you should know enough to formulate a thesis statement. Thesis statements are opinions that are supported by your research. One way to create a thesis statement is to think of it to the answer to a question. For example, if your assignment is
"Why is Florida a good place to vacation?,"
a thesis statement might be
"Florida is a good place to vacation because the weather is nice, there is a lot to do, and it is reasonably priced."
Take those themes and begin constructing an outline. If you are using Noodletools, you can even drag and drop your note cards under appropriate outline points. So for our pretend thesis, your research would show the following main points supported by your notes:
A. The climate of Florida
B. The many activities available in Florida
C. The comparative cost of travel, lodging, food and fun in Florida
Look at your work so far. What's missing? Is there a particular point that seems weak and needs more supporting information? Now is the time to do more searching, reading and evaluating.
Once you are happy with your information, it is time to sit down and write!