||Tips For Using HistoryLink.org In The Classroom
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Printer Friendly Version.
A How-to Power Point Presentation
Please download and view the Power Point as a slide show to
enable the animated slides.
Teacher’s Edition of the Student Guide to Finding Washington State History Resources on HistoryLink.org
What is HistoryLink.org?
HistoryLink.org is the online encyclopedia of Washington state history. The essays on the website are presented in the format of a printed encyclopedia (i.e. alphabetically or chronologically). HistoryLink.org is provided at no cost to the user.
When encouraging students to use HistoryLink.org as a research tool, remind them that the website is the STARTING point for research. Most of the essays, although original, are considered secondary sources. The sources cited by HistoryLink.org authors are both secondary sources and primary sources. However, HistoryLink.org hosts primary sources in the People’s Histories category.
Why should I use HistoryLink.org? Why should my students use HistoryLink.org?
HistoryLink.org is the only online encyclopedia of Washington state history. All essays are written by professional historians and are fully sourced. The information is free, comprehensive, and accurate. HistoryLink.org is constantly evolving and new essays are added weekly. The Education Resource provides technical tips, curriculum, and local history research resources for both educators and students.
How is HistoryLink.org different from Wikipedia?
HistoryLink.org essays are written by professional historians and are comprehensively researched, sourced, and edited. Editing is done by professionals and all essays are commissioned and bylined.
At what grade can students use HistoryLink.org most effectively?
Though HistoryLink.org may be used at all age levels, the essays on the site are primarily written for grade level 6 and above. Elementary school teachers may use HistoryLink.org essays, materials, photographs, people’s histories, and slideshows to complement Social Studies curriculum and classroom activities and lessons.
What do the terms used on HistoryLink.org mean?
- Cyberpedias: Cyberpedias consist of overview essays and other features presented in alphabetical order. Cyberpedias are secondary sources.
- Timeline essays: Timelines are date-driven essays, presented in chronological order.
- People’s Histories: People’s Histories consist of speeches, oral histories, and other first-hand accounts. There are also a few older and unsourced essays. Most People’s Histories are primary sources.
- Interactive Cybertours and Slideshows: Cybertours are online slideshow tours of places and events of historical significance in Washington state.
- County Thumbnails: County Thumbnails are cyberpedia overview essays on the different counties in Washington state.
- Washington Milestones: Washington Milestones is a cyberpedia that lists the main events in Wahsington state history.
- Honor Roll: The Honor Roll is a comprehensive roster of Washington state citizens who gave their lives in the service of their communities and country.
- Special Suites: Special Suites, found on the right-hand side of HistoryLink.org’s homepage, are sets of essays that are related to one another. Examples are Women’s History and Music & Musicians.
- Topics: Topics are found at the bottom of the Advanced Search page. There are 47 topics, including Art, Biographies, Buildings, Northwest Indians, Curiosities, Weather, and Women.
- History Bytes: History Bytes documents current events that are significant for Washington state history.
- Book of the Fortnight: Book of the Fortnight is a bi-weekly review of books relevant to Washington state history.
How do I help students get started?
- Students with a specific search in mind should enter the appropriate keywords into the search box on the home page or on the Advanced Search page. If searching for a phrase, student should use quotation marks around the phrase.
- The search will lead to a page with three columns: Cyberpedias on the left, Timeline essays in the center, and People’s Histories on the right. Students may refine their search on this page, using the Search Within Original Results box or by navigating to the Advanced Search page. Advanced search allows students to search by alphabet, geographic region, time period, or topic.
- If your student needs general information about one of the 39 counties in Washington state, he or she should go to the essay titled "County Name -- Thumbnail History" as in "Skagit County -- Thumbnail History" or use the county drop-down menu on the Advanced Search page.
- If your student needs general information about a city in Washington state, he or she should search for a Thumbnail essay for that city. Though most major cities have a Thumbnail essay, HistoryLink.org is a continuously growing and evolving encyclopedia and has not yet completed essays on all cities in Washington state.
What if students can’t find what they are searching for?
If the search yields no results, student should:
- Double-check his or her spelling. HistoryLink.org does not feature a spell check.
- Place quotations around phrases.
- If the student’s keyword can be part of a larger word, the student should leave a space between the word and the end quote (e.g. searching for the town of “Republic” could yield results for “republican.” To remedy this, search “Republic” with a space between Republic and the end quote).
- Rethink keywords.
- Use the Advance Search page, search titles only, search regions.
- Historyink.org is constantly evolving. There may be information that a student is searching for that has not been written yet. Approximately 400 new essays or timelines are added each year. Your student can always send an inquiry to HistoryLink.org staffers by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can students use the images on HistoryLink.org? How should they credit the photos?
Students can use the images that are featured on HistoryLink.org for papers and small exhibits, though the images will not be of high quality. If students need images with higher resolution, they should contact the organization credited beneath the image. If there is no organization credited, the image is from the HistoryLink.org photo archives and should be credited as such.
How do students cite HistoryLink.org essays as sources?
With a few exceptions, HistoryLink essays are fully sourced, bylined, and dated to provide authoritative references for legal, journalistic, and scholastic use. Different stylebooks, mainly the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Style Manual, and the Associated Press Stylebook, have different citation styles. For most purposes, we recommend using the following format to cite HistoryLink.org:
HistoryLink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "Title of Essay" (by author), http://www.historylink.org/ (accessed date).
Why isn’t there an essay on my city or town?
HistoryLink.org has been in existence for only 10 years and the site hosts over 5300 original essays on people, communities, events, and other subjects in state and local history. Every county in the state has a Thumbnail Essay but not every town or city. Staff historians are working as quickly as possible to write relevant essays but can only do so much with limited funding. If you would like to see your city/town on HistoryLink.org, please email email@example.com. This will help prioritize content development. Your support for private or public funding for HistoryLink.org is very important in order for HistoryLink.org to continue to research, compile, and write essays that feature the unique history of Washington state.