Hege Library & Learning Technologies

SOAN 261: Native North America (Guthrie)

Online Resources

Selecting a Research Topic


This guide was created to gather subject-focused books, articles, and other resources to help you find what you need quickly. If you are new to the research process, the How Do I…? guide can help you develop and explore your research topic, learn more about searching the library catalog and databases, avoid plagiarism, and correctly cite your sources in your work. 

If you need more help, check the Research, Tutoring, & Writing Support tab to:

  • Schedule a one-on-one research consultation with a Research Intern
  • Schedule a one-on-one research consultation with a Librarian
  • Make an appointment or view the drop-in schedules at the Learning & Writing Center for: 
    • Writing consultations including proofreading, help with citation, advanced coursework and independent study, senior theses, and creative writing 
    • Tutoring sessions with professional as well as trained peer tutors 
    • Time management and study skills instruction
    • Support for special academic needs

Course Description

This course introduces students to the complexity and diversity of Native North American societies from an anthropological perspective.  It emphasizes contemporary indigenous communities both on and off reservations, their place within white settler colonies, and their ongoing efforts to defend their sovereignty and maintain distinctive cultural identities.  Readings highlight selected groups and their historical, environmental, economic, cultural, and political circumstances.  We will pay special attention to the relationship between Indians and anthropologists and the politics and ethics of anthropological research and writing.  Classes will combine lecture, discussion, and films.

The Research and Writing Process

The research and writing process isn't a straight line from topic to paper. The best research-based writing and presentations treat research and writing as an interconnected process in which you:

  • Choose Your Topic, Refine Your Topic, Create Keywords
    • Preliminary background research helps you choose a topic that is well-supported by credible sources of the type that your assignment requires and is interesting to you.
    • You'll want to break down your topic into smaller, more manageable ideas.  These can then be used as keywords for your searching.
  • Locate Quality Sources
    • Use the library catalog and databases to locate sources that are relevant to your topic. One approach you can try is using Hege Library's research guides, which are tailored to particular subjects and courses.
    • Access the Sociology and Anthropology Guide here.
  • Evaluate and Use Sources 
    • Evaluate sources on a case by case basis. Look for indicators of credibility, and examine content with a critical eye. What are the main ideas? Is evidence provided? How is data interpreted? 
    • Take the time to think about how each source you select supports the quality of your research project. How do your sources tie together? How do they support your argument?
  • Write Your Paper and Cite Your Sources​
    • Use what you've learned through research to support your own written work.
    • Start early! Give yourself time to really craft your written product. Organize your thoughts and know what you want to say. Express your arguments in a way that is clear, persuasive, and compelling.
    • If you need help with your writing, please contact The Learning Commons.  
    • Make sure to provide proper citations for your sources. Besides the ethical aspect of recognizing the work of others in producing information that has informed your research, properly referencing your sources adds credibility and weight to your own written product. Access Hege Library's Citation Guides here.