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HST 1022: 1980s America


Primary Source Articles

There are two main ways you can approach finding your primary source articles:

  • Use the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature and the New York Times Index to pinpoint the names of specific articles. You would then have to find a database (or other source such as microfilm) to get the full text. To see if we have access to a particular magazine/newspaper/journal at Dowling, type the name of it into Journal Locator
  • Use the list below. This is a list of popular magazines and newspapers for which we can access older full text articles. Some are on microfilm. Some are in databases: search using keywords describing your topic.

Business Week
The library has 1957–2006 on microfilm.

The Economist
The library has 1843–1997 on microfilm.

Forbes Magazine
The library has 1968–1996 on microfilm

The library has 1980–1990 on microfilm

National Review (1975-current)
Use the date slider in the left hand column to adjust your date range

New Republic
The libriary has 1960–1996 on microfilm

New York Times (1851-2008)
Use the search options area to search by a specific date range

Newsday (August 1985-current)
Click on advanced search and under date range choose specific date to add your time frame

Newsweek (1975-current)
Use the specify date section to narrow the dates

Saturday Evening Post
Use the date slider in the left hand column to adjust your date range

Sports Illustrated (1992-current)
Use the date slider in the left hand column to adjust your date range

Time Magazine (1922-current)
Use the date slider in the left hand column to adjust your date range.
The library also has 1923–2002 on microfilm.

US News & World Report (1990-2010)
Use the date slider in the left hand column to adjust your date range

Wall Street Journal (1984-present)
Click on advanced search and under date range choose specific date to add your time frame

The Washington Post (1977 - current)
Use the specify date section to narrow the dates

Primary Source Books

Primary sources in books will include memoirs, autobiographies, collections of letters, speeches and other documents.

Dear Americans: Letters from the Desk of President Ronald Reagan ebook

Iacoca, an Autobiography

Ronald Reagan: Public Papers of the Presidents
Also available online through the Ronald Regan Presidential Library

The Reagan I Knew by William F. Buckley. ebook

The Regan Presidency: Ten Intimate Perspectives of Ronald Reagan

Secondary Source Books

Search the library catalog using keywords describing your topic. Some tips:

  • Put quotes around any specific phrase you are searching (“cold war” “war on drugs”)
  • If you find too many books, add keywords to your search combined with AND (terrorism AND “middle east”)
  • If you’re not finding any books, try different keywords that describe your topic. If you’re researching US relations with Russia during the 80s, try searching: USSR, Moscow, Kremlin, Gorbachev, “Soviet Union”…

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</form> (:htmlend:)


You will not be citing reference books as sources in your paper but they can help with the research process. They can give you a better understanding of the context of your topic and in turn provide you with more keywords to use in your searches.
Who was in Ronald Reagan’s cabinet? What were the major events of his presidency? What was the biggest box office hit of the decade? Consulting some of these reference sources can help you find a way into your topic.

American Decades
Oakdale Reference E169.12 .A419

American Film Institute Desk Reference
Oakdale Reference PN1994 .A599 2002

Encyclopedia of Terrorism
Oakdale Reference HV6431 .K883 2003

The Presidency A to Z
Oakdale Reference JK511 .P775 2008

Credo Reference
Search this database of published encyclopedias to get a variety of information on your topic. (:html:)

<form action=“http://0-www.credoreference.com.library.dowling.edu/search.do” method=“get”> <input type=“hidden” name=“view” value=“facet”/> <label for=“query”>Search</label> <input type=“text” name=“query” value=“” size=“15″/> <input type=“image” border=“0″ name=“Submit” value=“search” src=“ width=69″ height=“23″> </form>


Web Sites

The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2008

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Search your topic to see if any old news footage, interviews, or commercials have been uploaded

Citing Your Resources

Doing ethical research means citing sources. It is critical to credit writers for their work and their contributions to your research. To not do so is unethical and leads to plagiarism - unintentionally or not. Here are some sources to help you cite properly and to avoid the problem of plagiarism.

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