Week III

This post is late because I accidentally posted it in my other WordPress blog, and didn’t realize until tonight. Oops! 

Anyway–

This week I met with Jane Currie, the history librarian, who taught me how to use the ProQuest Congressional Database. Being able to search for specific acts and public laws all in one space was very cool. Afterwards, I met with Dr. Shermer to discuss my topic statement. In my focus on the most recent financial aid problems, I completely forgot about the historical aspect in my topic statement! We had to rectify that quickly. So now, my topic has changed just a bit. I still care about the decisions that led to the 2011 Budget Control Act, but I am going to start with the Higher Education Act of 1965.

I find this Act very interesting, even though for some reason it is really hard to find proper articles written on it. The Public Law document is available, but it is very long and contains a lot more information than I actually need. My focus will be on Title IV of the Act, which deals with student financial assistance. Most of the sources I have found so far are books, so I have to order them from the Lewis Library and will start sifting through them once they arrive on the Lake Shore Campus. But in the meantime, I am starting an annotated bibliography on Zotero, which is a little hard. I have not written an annotated bibliography in a very long time, so I am little worried about how much I should include in there, and how exactly it should be formatted. This bibliography is supposed to help Dr. Shermer with her research too, so I don’t want to mess it up! 

I am a little disappointed that there are not many articles in the databases for the specific things I am focusing on, such as Pell Grants. A lot of the secondary sources in the Loss article were about the G.I Bill, so they are from before 1965. I am trying to look at the footnotes in more secondary sources which can help me find articles and books related to my topic. Then I will finally be getting somewhere with my research. So far, I have found a lot of primary documents that are not available online, so I will be going to the library to look through those. The actual paper-writing will not be until the end of October/early November. 

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One thought on “Week III

  1. Looks like you are facing all the challenges of the professional historian: adjusting your project as you go, reading footnotes in search of secondary sources, and discovering primary sources that aren’t online. Keep up the great work!

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