Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /usr/local/www/sp/control/includes/classes/sp_DBConnector.php on line 26

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /usr/local/www/sp/control/includes/classes/sp_Pluslet_3.php on line 41
Brooks Library Research Guides: HISTORY 481: Senior Thesis
Blackboard iconBlackboard

Novel iconGroupwise Email

Library Home · Cattrax Online Catalog · Digital Collections

Brooks Library Research Guides: HISTORY 481: Senior Thesis

« Back To Guides Selection

The Assignment!
The assignment is to write a 15-20 page Senior Thesis on a topic in the general field of the environmental history of Washington State and/or the inland Northwest.  Choose a topic that interests you – something that you anticipate enjoying learning about and writing about.  The purpose of the Course Guide is to help you enjoy and get the most out of  the research and writing process.

Some questions to keep in mind when you are researching your topic, creating your outline, and writing your paper:
  • How does the information you have found demonstrate patterns of historical continuity and change in American history?
  • What are the central question(s) and perspective(s) in the historical narrative that you are writing?
  • What are the relationship(s) between the relevant historical fact and their historical interpretation?
  • What are the 'cause and effect' relationships that you found?  (Are you sure?)

Additional Information sources for this assignment:

Important Dates
April 16,    Bibliographies Due (bring two copies, one for Professor Herman and one for another student)
April 23,    Thesis Question or Statement Due (bring two copies; one for Professor Herman and one for another student)
April 25,    Individual appointments in Professor Herman’s office
May 2,      Outlines Due (bring two copies; one for Professor Herman and one for another student)
May 7,      Oral in-class reports on progress of your research
May 9,      Oral in-class reports on progress of your research (if necessary)
May 14,    Individual appointments in Professor Herman’s office
May 16,    Individual appointments in Professor Herman’s office
May 21,    Formal, in-class, oral presentations
                Rough Drafts Due (*must be at least 9 pages long!*)
                (bring two copies; one for Professor Herman, one for another student)
May 23,    Formal, in-class, oral presentations
May 28,    Formal, in-class, oral presentations
May 30,    Formal, in-class, oral presentations and FINAL PAPER DUE!
More Research Guides!
There are also several other Research Guides whose treasures you should plunder in your search for primary and secondary sources:

Some Lists of Sources, by Suggested Topic.
Some of these sources are primary sources, some of them are secondary sources, and all of them can provide you with the information you need to find more primary sources:

Ben Snipes, the "cattle king" of the Yakima Valley - Ben Snipes, et al.pdf pdf
Birth of the orchard industry - Orchard & Agriculture related.pdf pdf
Birth of the Pacific Northwest’s wine industry - Wineries & Grapes.pdf pdf
Building of Grand Coulee Dam - Grand Coulee Dam.pdf pdf
Cattle ranching in nineteenth-century eastern Washington - Cattle, Pioneers, et al.pdf pdf
Coal mining in Roslyn - Roslyn, Coal, etc.pdf pdf
Creation of Mt. Rainier National Park in 1899 - Mt. Ranier!.pdf  Ranier!
Creation of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness (or some other Wilderness) - Alpine Lakes Wilderness.pdf pdf
Creation of the Bonneville Power Administration - Bonneville Power Administration, et al.pdf pdf
Early irrigation in Thorp and/or Ellensburg - Irrigation Issues.pdf pdf
Early twentieth century game laws and "poaching"; regulation of hunting on state or federal lands (early 20th century, especially) - Hunting.pdf pdf
Ellensburg fire of 1889 - Ellensburg Fire.pdf pdf
Farmers’ strike of the 1970s - Farming in Washington.pdf pdf
Gold mining in Liberty - Gold Mining, Liberty etc.pdf pdf
Hanford - Hanford!.pdf pdf
History of flooding in Ellensburg or elsewhere in the Northwest - A flood of floods.pdf pdf
Impact of the Mt. St. Helens eruption - Mt. St. Helens.pdf  St
Indian fishing rights - Indian Fishing Rights.pdf pdf
Introduction of elk to eastern Washington or Kittitas Valley (1920s?) - Elk......pdf
IWW strikes in the orchards and wheatfields in the early twentieth century - IWW.pdf pdf
Solar power controversies of the 2000s - Solar Power.pdf pdf
Spotted Owl controversy - Spotted Owl.pdf pdf
Wind farm controversy of the 1990s and 2000s - Wind Power in Washington State.pdf pdf

Some Subject Terms....
These links to Subject Terms in Cattrax may be of some use to you.  When you find something that seems useful look at all of the subject terms that are used to describe it and see what other materials those subject terms can lead you to.  Similarly, when you go to the shelves to find a book or government document, take a look at what is located nearby.
Agricultural wastes -- Washington (State)
Agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Washington (State)
Agriculture -- Washington (State)
Cities and towns -- Washington (State)
Dams -- Washington (State)
Ecology -- Washington (State)
Electric utilities -- Northwest, Pacific
Environmental monitoring -- Washington (State)
Environmental policy -- Washington (State)
Factory and trade waste -- Washington (State)
Fire ecology -- Northwest, Pacific
Fish culture -- Environmental aspects -- Washington (State)
Fisheries -- Washington (State)
Forest fires -- Environmental aspects -- Northwest, Pacific
Forests and forestry -- Environmental aspects -- Washington (State)
Forests and forestry -- Washington (State)
Groundwater -- Pollution -- Washington (State)
Hazardous waste site remediation -- Washington (State)
Hiking -- Washington (State)
Historic sites -- Washington (State)
Human ecology -- Northwest, Pacific
Indians of North America -- Fishing -- Law and legislation -- Washington (State)
Land use -- Environmental aspects -- Washington (State)
Land use -- Washington (State)
Lumbering -- Washington (State)
Mines and mineral resources Washington (State)
Natural history -- Washington (State)
Northwest, Pacific -- Environmental conditions
Northwest, Pacific -- History
Nuclear reactors -- Washington (State)
Pacific salmon fisheries -- Columbia River
Pollution -- Washington (State)
Prescribed burning -- Northwest, Pacific
Radioactive waste disposal -- Washington (State)
Refuse and refuse disposal -- Washington (State)
Regional planning -- Washington (State)
Salmon -- Spawning -- Columbia River Watershed
Salmon fisheries -- Law and legislation -- Washington (State)
Timber -- Washington (State)
United States. Bonneville Power Administration
Urban renewal -- Washington (State)
Washington (State) -- Economic conditions
Washington (State) -- Environmental conditions   
Water quality management -- Washington (State)
Water resources development -- Northwest, Pacific
Wildlife conservation -- Washington (State)
Wildlife refuges -- Washington (State)

How to find theses in the Brooks Library
Theses and Dissertations are often excellent places to look for citations to useful primary sources.

  • The "Advanced Search" in Cattrax can provide search results containing all 4323 CWU student theses:  
    You can refine the search by using the "Modify Search" button near the top of the page and then adding a keyword and selecting either title or subject from the drop-down menu.
    Note: Theses are shelved by the author's LAST NAME, not by the call number.

  • Another option for locating theses is the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I database (under 'D' in our databases list).  
    This database contains over 2,000,000 dissertations and theses, with approximately 70,000 being added every year. Only about 10 percent of the theses or dissertations in this database are available as full-text, but that percentage is still a lot.  
    If you find a thesis or dissertation that seems likely to be particularly useful and which is not available full-text Interlibrary Loan may be able to help.

Zotero, the Researcher's Powertool!
Zotero enables you to collect all of your research into a single searchable and annotatable interface.  You can add PDFs, text files, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and almost anything else.  Your research can be organized however you want to organize it.

Whether you need to create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, or bibliographies, Zotero can do nearly all the dirty work* for you, leaving you free to focus on your research and writing (and the Notes feature helps you with that too).  Zotero supports thousands of citation formats with more styles added daily.  You can create citations in Word or OpenOffice without ever leaving your word processor, you can add references to an email, a Google Document, or some other editor simply by dragging one or more references out of Zotero (or you can simply copy/paste).

Zotero is available as a plug-in for Firefox on both Macs and PCs, and the standalone version of Zotero (for use with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari) is available for PCs.  The Zotero plug-in is already installed on Firefox on every computer in the Library.  You can create a free Zotero account and synchronize your information online.  You can also download Firefox-Portable on a large flashdrive and install Zotero in there.

The documentation for Zotero is among the best on the web, and most Zotero features are pretty self-evident.  If you do have questions about your new power-tool I am available by email ( and from 5pm-9pm Monday to Thursday, and Friday afternoons.

* Zotero still needs your help to fix things like ALL CAPS titles, but checking your citations for perfection is a lot easier than making them perfect.

Hours and Locations
CWU Writing Center
Brooks Library,
First Floor, in the ARC/Reference Area
(509) 963-1270

Office Hours
Monday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Tuesday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Wednesday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Thursday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

CWU Archives and Special Collections
Brooks Library, Fourth Floor
10 am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday, or by appointment
(509) 963-1717 or
Government Publications, Maps & Microforms
(509) 963-1541
Brooks Library, Third Floor.

Sunday  1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Monday  8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Tuesday  8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Wednesday  8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Thursday  8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday  11 a.m. - 7 p.m.>

Washington State Archives

(509) 963-2136
Monday through Friday - 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.
(Closed 12 to 1pm)

Citation Assistance
The citation style for this paper is The Chicago Manual of Style or the nearly identical Turabian style.  Some options for citation assistance include:

Subject Specialist
Ask A Librarian Chat
Key to Icons

Restricted Resource = Restricted resource
Some full text available = Some full text
openURL = OpenURL enabled

Resource contains images = Images
Resource contains video = Video files
Resource contains audio = Audio files

QR Code
Scan to view this guide on your mobile device.