For an excellent paper in a history course--be it a short essay or a long research paper--you need to find relevant scholarship to build off of. That material might include peer reviewed:
You can find that material through your beloved Boston College Libraries or we can order necessary material for you through Interlibrary Loan.
Your local libraries have excellent monographs and anthologies located in O'Neill library as well as through the BC libraries portal. Try search for books through the WorldCat library system (search only books) to see if we have it or you need to order through ILL.
JSTOR is all full-text, and very good for retrospective research in history. But, it does not include all the current scholarship indexed in America: History & Life or Historical Abstracts.
Project MUSE provides full-text access to a large number of scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences published by over 120 of the world's leading university presses and scholarly societies. In addition, UPCC Book Collections on Project MUSE, launched in January 2012, offer book-length scholarship, fully integrated with MUSE's scholarly journal content. The Project Muse platform allows searching of books and journals in one place.
Historical Abstracts is the corollary index of journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and dissertations pertaining to the study of World History (Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America), time period coverage from 1450 to the present. Publication coverage is 1955–present.
America: History & Life is the premier index of journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and dissertations pertaining to the study of United States and Canadian History, time period coverage from prehistory to the present. Publication coverage is 1910–present.
Bibliographies allow you to follow an author's sources backwards in time. By definition, anything cited in a book or article will have been published prior to that book or article.
Citation tracking allows you to move forward in time, following who has cited that book or article since its publication. You can deduce how influential a specific source has been and follow the scholarly conversation around a specific topic.