Worksheet on Choosing a Topic

A. Briefly describe the library research that you did towards choosing a topic. Include at least two reference books that you used and three library card catalog subject headings that you found useful.
A: So far my library research has been more limited than my Internet research, and I have had initial difficulty in finding primary sources at the library very quickly. In the general scheme of things, I attribute this to my lack of experience with initial research at the library, a vice I intend to correct. Nevertheless, I only consider this a temporary setback, as I have set an appointment to meet with one of the librarians to delve more deeply into finding several more accessible primary sources so that I can focus my topic even more.

B. Briefly describe the internet research that you did. What words did you google successfully? Name at least one useful website. Do not include web based library card catalogs in this section.
A: It took a while, but I found a map of New Orleans from the 1740’s on that shows the design and extent of the city in some of its earliest stages. After trying google searches with the word ‘primary source’ attached, I finally typed ‘maps’ and this came up on the second page I believe.

C. You should talk to at least one member of this history department about your topic, or at least an expert in your field. Name that expert and briefly describe his/her comments.
A: I spoke with Dr. Harris when I was narrowing my search down because he is French history, and he thought I would enjoy the research I was looking for, and that to continue working with French Colonial history (especially Louisiana), I should contact Dr. Hudgins.

D. You must have a primary source for this paper. Provide any pertinent information on that primary source including website and/or call number
A: My primary source is the previously aforementioned map of New Orleans from the 1740’s, which I found at “La Plan De Nouvelle Orleans. It’s not what I want to be my most important document, but it’s a start for helping me paint a picture of what the earliest forms of New Orleans looked like.

E. Are enough secondary sources available on this topic? Tell me a bit about what you found.
A: Culturally speaking, I found tons of secondary sources speaking of the cultural and demographic scenario in New Orleans, especially the descriptions of immigration arrivals, and how they affected the already morphing culture, demographics and folklore. From what I’ve found, the three biggest waves are the Slaves and Free Blacks from Haiti, but the Acadians from Quebec and Spanish arrivals (especially once they formally took power) are extremely influential and left an enormous impact on the cities culture.

F. Finally, describe your conversations with me about your topic and how your topic has evolved as a result.
A: From what I’ve mentioned, you have seemed initially receptive to my research topic, and encouraged me to research family names of German Francophiles who settled outside New Orleans. When I get the chance, I will look more deeply into this at the library.

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