MORT 3018: Funeral Service Practice I

Resources for: A study of the practice of funeral service, the conduct of funerals in the diverse American society; private and National cemetery familiarization, including eligibility; merchandise familiarization

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Eight Steps Of the Research Process

¢Define and develop your topic

¢Do an initial search for background information

¢Conduct a literature search

¢Read and evaluate the information you find

¢Make notes

¢Write your paper (and revise, revise, revise)

¢Cite your information sources



University Library Research Tutorials

Tutorials that will help you save time! Learn how to:

start your research by picking a topic and learning about scholarly articles and other types of sources


plan and organize your research with our assignment calculator and citation tools


use library databases to get scholarly information and sources on your topic


find sources including scholarly and peer reviewed articles, books, and primary sources


learn about citations and use tools to cite and manage your sources


communicate your research through presentations, posters, or visualizations


find ways to get help both in-person and online




Tips to Make Collaborative Research & Writing Successful

  • Pre-writing Process
    • Use the right collaboration tools such as Google Docs, Microsoft 365 or Dropbox.
    • Brainstorm together to ensure you all are in agreement about the direction of the project.
  • Planning & logistics
    • Assign roles & writing tasks, such as who will research which portions of the assignment, who will write which portions and who will serve as the proofreader or editor.
    • Choose how/where the writing takes place.  Decide if you will meet as a group to do the actual writing or assign portions of the writing and work independently on those portions.
    • Set and keep deadlines for drafts. For example, a deadline may be set for the initial draft of each author’s portion of the project. Next a deadline is then set for putting it all together, and final draft and then proofreading/editing it.
  • Research/locating sources of information
    • Decide on how you will find information sources (databases, library catalog, etc.) and who will look into what types of sources -- primary, secondary or tertiary sources.
    • Who will read and process the information found? This task may be done by all members or divided up amongst members so that each person becomes the expert in one area.
  • Drafting and writing
    • Be sure that everyone agrees on the central ideas of the paper.
    • Talk about how the writing session should go BEFORE you get started.
    • Get all of the ideas down on "paper" in a rough form before discussing exact phrasing.
  • Revising, editing and proofreading
    • Tackle revising as a group.
    • If your group has drafted parts of the document separately, merge your ideas together into a single document first, then focus on meshing the styles.
    • Revise the ideas and structure of the paper before worrying about problems with punctuation, grammar, or word choice. Is the information presented in a logical order? Do the transitions between sections connect the ideas effectively?  Does the paper sound like it was written by one writer from start to finish?
    • Proofreading: Check for typos, spelling errors, punctuation problems, formatting issues, and grammatical mistakes. Reading the paper aloud by group is a very helpful strategy at this point.

Primary and Secondary Sources in Historical Research

History sources are classified into two major categories: primary and secondary sources.

Primary sources, (i.e. the "raw materials") are those items that were written or recorded during the time period you are researching. The most common primary sources are written documents, such as letters, diaries, newspaper articles or government documents.  But primary sources can also include photographs, paintings, sculpture, architecture, oral interviews, statistical tables, and even geography. In the case of funeral history, this may include eulogies, music, memorials, obituaries, or gravestones.

Secondary sources are those based on or about the primary sources. They generally include history books (monographs) and academic (scholarly) articles.

Tertiary sources are the next step removed from secondary sources.  They usually summarize or synthesize the research found in secondary sources. Textbooks and reference books are tertiary sources, for example encyclopedias, handbooks or historical dictionaries are considered tertiary sources.  Tertiary sources are often a good place to start to get initial background information on a topic, but shouldn't be used as the main source of information for your paper.

Article Databases

Health Sciences & other databases that cover death/dying, burial, grief, bereavement, mourning and funerals. 

Historical Databases

Databases that cover historical events, social and economic lifestyles.  These databases can be used to find primary sources such as funeral service ads, local obituaries and windows on lifestyles for a particular period in time.

African American Newspapers (1800s)

Search a collection of African-American newspapers dating from the 1800s. It contains large numbers of early biographies, vital statistics, essays and editorials, poetry and prose, and advertisements, which illustrate the African-American experiences.

Afro-Americana Imprints (1535-1922)

Search printed historic materials such as books, pamphlets and broadsides (early posters) which record African American history, literature and culture. Topics include descriptions of African American life slave and free throughout the Americas, abolitionist movements and much more.

America: History and Life

America: history and life provides historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present with over 2,000 journals including all key English-language historical journals. Limited to 6 simultaneous users.

American History, 1493-1945

Explore primary source documents covering American History from the earliest settlers to the mid-twentieth century. Sources include correspondence, diaries, government documents, business records, books, pamphlets, newspapers, broadsides, photographs, artwork and maps

Anthropology Plus

Anthropology Plus provides extensive worldwide indexing of journal articles, reports, commentaries, edited works, and obituaries in the fields of social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture, and interdisciplinary studies.. Coverage is from the late 19th century to the present.

Bibliography of Asian Studies

Search topics, especially in the humanities and the social sciences, on East, Southeast, and South Asia published worldwide. You can also find citations to journal articles, chapters in edited volumes, conference proceedings, anthologies, and more.

Bibliography of Indigenous Peoples in North America

Covering all aspects of native North American culture, history, and life with 80,000+ citations for books, essays, journal articles, and government documents of the United States and Canada. This resource covers a wide range of topics including archaeology, multicultural relations, gaming, governance, legend, and literacy. Dates of coverage for included content range from the sixteenth century to the present.

Black Historical Newspapers 

Also known as ProQuest Black Historical Newspapers

African American newspapers that are included in the ProQuest Historical Newspaper collection: Atlanta Daily World (1931-2010), Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), Chicago Defender (1909-2010), Cleveland Call and Post (1934-1991), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), Louisville Defender (1951-2010), Michigan Chronicle (1939-2010), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), Norfolk Journal and Guide (1916-2010), Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2010)

C19, the nineteenth century index

The most comprehensive and dynamic source for discovering nineteenth-century books, journals, official documents, newspapers, and archives. Includes the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals.

China, America and the Pacific

Explore an extensive range of archival material connected to the trading and cultural relationships that emerged between China, America and the Pacific region between the 18th and early 20th centuries. Manuscript sources, rare printed texts, visual images, objects and maps document this fascinating history.

Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective, The

Full text of articles taken from issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury, and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865. It includes news articles, eye-witness accounts and official reports of battles and events, editorials, advertisements, and biographies. It also includes articles describing other concerns of the time period, such as travel, arts and leisure, sports, and social events.

Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME)

Find published materials, documents, posters, maps, artifacts, audiovisual recordings, and more from the Middle East and North Africa region in English, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish and 15 other languages. Time range is -11,000 BCE-present.

Early American Imprints Series I: Evans (1639-1800)

Every book, pamphlet, serial, and other printed work of significance published in America 1639 - 1800 with 36,000 items and 2.4 million page images when complete.

Early American Imprints Series II Shaw-Shoemaker (1801-1819)

Provides full-text and full-page-image access to books, pamphlets, and broadsides published in America from 1801 through 1819. Contains many state papers and government materials, including published reports; presidential letters and messages; and congressional, state and territorial resolutions.

Everyday Life and Women In America

Offers primary sources on women in America, from the 1800s to the 1920s. Primary sources include monographs, broadsides, pamphlets, rare books, and periodicals. Themes include domestic life, literature, agriculture, race, religion, fashion, and politics.

Frontier Life

Frontier Life: Borderlands, Settlement & Colonial Encounters is a collection of digitized primary sources documenting European migration to and colonization of Africa, Australasia, and North America. It also documents the everyday life of settlers in these locations. Though the collection primarily consists of materials produced by British colonists and American settlers, it also includes some materials produced by the Indigenous peoples they displaced.

Harper's Bazaar Archive, 1867-current

Find articles, advertisements, and covers of every issue of Harper's Bazaar from its first appearance in 1867 to the current month.

Jewish Life in America, c1654-1954

Provides access to a diverse range of records which can be used to explore the history of Jewish communities in the United States of America, from the arrival of the first Jews in New Amsterdam (now New York) in the 17th century right through to the mid-1950s.

John Johnson Collection: An Archive of Printed Ephemera

Search rare or unique archival printed materials documenting everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Categories include Entertainment, the Booktrade, Popular Prints, Crimes, Murders and Executions, and Advertising.

Medieval Family Life

Images and transcripts of the Letter collections of the Paston, Stonor, Plumpton, Armburgh and Cely families from 15th century England. Letter topics include trade, warfare, arranging advantageous marriages, arguments between parents and children, matters of inheritance, births and deaths, estate management, legal disputes, domestic finances, women and their role in the family and everyday social and domestic life.

New York Times (1851 to 20xx)

Full-page, digital archive of the New York Times. The archive runs from 1851 to 4 years ago. Search and view images of articles, advertising, photos, and more (via ProQuest Historical Newspapers).

Nineteenth Century Collections Online

Search primary source collections of the nineteenth century (1800s) with books, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, statistics, and more. Topics include British politics, theater and music; European literature, Asian exploration, photography, and more.

Proquest Historical Newspapers

Search old editions major U.S. newspapers and the Times of India. Papers include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Other titles include the Atlanta Daily World, Chicago Defender, Christian Science Monitor, Jewish Advocate, the Jewish Exponent, Los Angeles Sentinel, the New York Amsterdam News, Pittsburgh Courier, South China Morning Post, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Victorian Popular Culture

Historical and primary documents on popular entertainment in the nineteenth (1800s) and early twentieth centuries (early 1900s) including topics such as "Moving pictures, optical entertainments, and the advent of cinema"; "Optical delights" ; "Music hall, theatre, and popular entertainment" features material on music halls, pleasure gardens, exhibitions, scientific institutions, variety and vaudeville, and spectacles such as firework displays and ballooning; "Circuses, sideshows, and freaks" focuses on the world of traveling entertainment ; "Spiritualism, sensation, and magic" explores the relationship between the popularity of Victorian magic shows and conjuring tricks and the emergence of sances and psychic phenomena.

Women's Magazine Archive

An archival research resource comprised of leading women's interest consumer magazines. Coverage ranges from the late-19th century through to 2005 and these key primary sources permit the examination of the events, trends, and attitudes of this period. Among the research fields served by this material are gender studies, social history, economics/marketing, media, fashion, politics, and popular culture.

World Religion Database (WRD)

WRD contains detailed statistics on religious affiliation for every country of the world. It provides source material, including censuses and surveys, to give estimates at multiple dates for each of the world's religions for the period 1900 to 2050.

19th Century British Pamphlets

Also known as JSTOR 19th Century British Pamphlets, Nineteenth Century British Pamphlets

More than 26,000 digitized pamphlets from collections in seven universities in the UK, covering the key political, social, technological, and environmental issues of 19th century Britain. Also includes some periodicals from 17th and 18th centuries.


Discover 204,731 images, maps, manuscripts, video, audio, and more. UMedia provides open access to digitized materials from across the University of Minnesota. 

Selected Books

Mortuary Science Journals

Select set of Journals in mortuary science and bereavement

Title Years
American Funeral Director 1945-
Casket & Sunnyside: C & S 1945-1984
The Director 1948-

Embalmers Monthly and National Funeral Director

1945-47, 1956-59
Mid-Continent Mortician 1944-1973
Morticians of the Southwest 1955, 1957-1977
Mortuary Management 1945-1948, 1955-
National Funeral Director and Embalmer 1958-1977
Southern Funeral Director 1945-1977


Citing Sources

Document your sources. 

It is important to cite sources used in research for many reasons:

  • It shows that you have done the proper or thorough research of your topic by listing the sources of the information in your paper.
  • You avoid plagiarism by quoting the words or ideas by other researchers. 
  • It provides resources to validate your research or as an alternative, the sources can serve as a counterpoint or validation for further research on your topic.
  • Allows people to follow up on your research by finding and reading your sources.
  • Contributes to future research and scholarship.

Plagiarism occurs when another author's words or ideas are "borrowed" and not acknowledged within a paper.  This is considered stealing someone's intellectual property and is a serious offense within the academic community.  The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources, within the body of your paper, known as in-text citations and as part of a bibliography of sources that you consulted for your paper. 

You MUST cite:

  • Facts, figures, ideas or other information that is not common knowledge.
    • Note: if an idea or information comes from another source, even if you put it in your own words (i.e. paraphrasing), you still need to credit the source.
    • You do not need to cite accepted common knowledge. Common knowledge is information that the majority of people either know or can find in a number of sources. Common knowledge is generally factual information that is beyond dispute, such as the periodic table, historical dates, country capitals, however, if you are not sure the information you are using is common knowledge, then cite it.
  • Ideas, words, theories or exact phrases that another author used in their publications.
    • The rule of thumb is if you are quoting three or more consecutive words from a source, you need to cite the source and put the words/phrase into quotation marks. 

Journal article citation example (APA style)

Ruin, H. (2017). History and Its Dead. History and Theory, 56(3), 407-417.

Zuck, L.H. The changing meaning of the funeral in Christian history. Pastoral Psychol 8, 17–26 (1957).

Book citation example:

Oermann, M. H. (2024). Writing for publication in nursing (Fifth edition.). Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

Book chapter example:

Aron, L., Botella, M., & Lubart, T. (2019). Culinary arts: Talent and their development. In R. F. Subotnik, P. Olszewski-Kubilius, & F. C. Worrell (Eds.), The psychology of high performance: Developing human potential into domain-specific talent (pp. 345–359). American Psychological Association.

Archival documents examples:

Tomlinson, J. T. (1942, April 17). [Memorandum to the deputy minister, J. H. McKechnie]. Saskatchewan Department of Education fonds (Ed. Addendum, file 49, Métis schools). Saskatchewan Archives Board, Regina, Canada.

Frank, L. K. (1935, February 4). [Letter to Robert M. Ogden]. Rockefeller Archive Center (GEB Series 1.3, Box 371, Folder 3877), Tarrytown, NY, United States

[Photographs of Robert M. Yerkes]. (ca. 1917–1954). Robert Mearns Yerkes Papers (Box 137, Folder 2292), Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, CT, United States.

APA Style

APA Style (American Psychological Association)  

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Last Updated: Sep 11, 2023 9:10 AM