You're a historian, so you're known for citing concientiously and citing everything. Keeping track of everything you've looked at may sound like an arduous task, but luckily there are tools to help you save bibliographic information with notes that will even insert Chicago Manual of Style citations into your word processer.
Behold, citation management applications!
Zotero - choose between the standalone version or cloud-based version that allows you to bookmark citations with your web browser, build and share bibliographies, and cite-as-you-write with Word (free)
Endnote - a software application, also easily integrated with Word
Mendeley - another web-based tool that allows you to collect and annotate PDFs and cite within Word (free)
These are just a few out there. Be sure to attend library workshops to get hands-on training.
The Office of Thesis & Dissertation Format Review provides the approved thesis/dissertaion templates to ensure compliance with University formatting guidelines. They also offer workshops on using the templates, the submission process, necessary forms, and best practices before you begin writing.
Be sure to become familiar with the templates, attend formatting workshops, and use the templates as your write to ensure a smooth submission process.
The MSU Libraries offers a variety of workshops not just for conducting your research, but also producing and sharing it
research methodologies and strategies
citation management tools
setting up your thesis/dissertation template
design and production software
copyright and publishing
sharing your research (non-traditional publishing)