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Course: History 1, Middle East (2024): Finding a reference source

Using encyclopedias/reference sources

A reference source is a great place to get an overview of your topic. By carefully reading a detailed reference article you can get a solid grounding on the facts or background of an event, person, or time period. You can gather keywords, names, and dates for further searching, and use the bibliography to start gathering your secondary sources.  For this project you will most likely be using an Encyclopedia as your reference source.

In the column on the left below you will find links to encyclopedias that will have general entries on countries as well as topic specific ones.

In the middle column are reliable websites that have detailed profiles of Middle Eastern countries.

The right column gives you some ideas for getting the most out of your reference source(s).

Finding a reference source

These encyclopedias are available as eBooks and we have print copies in the library. Click on the links below to go straight to the eBooks.

Women in World History


Citing a reference source

If you are citing a reference article from an online encyclopedia, make sure you use the 'database' tab in the Noodletools Reference Source citation.

Herrerra, Linda. "Education." In Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, edited by Philip Mattar, 756-62. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. Gale Ebooks.

Guiding questions

These guiding questions will help you get the most out of your encyclopedia articles:

  1. Who is mentioned in this article? Include names of key people, political parties, organizations, etc.

  2. When and where does this article cover? Note if this article covers a specific location and time period.

  3. What events, concepts or ideas are in this encyclopedia article?

  4. How does this encyclopedia article connect to other things you know, such as what was in your current event story? 

  5. What do you need to know more about after reading this article and what search terms could you use to find what you need?

  6. Look at the bibliography and identify what other potential sources you could look for. Note the names and authors of books and articles from the bibliography or further reading.

  7. Summarize what you think this article is saying. You can write this as a bulleted list.

  8. What stood out for you in this article. What ideas does this article generate that you want to explore further?