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Course: History 1, Middle East 2022 (Ezra): Finding a reference source

What is a reference source?

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, gather keywords, names, and dates for further searching, and use the Selected Bibliography to start gathering your secondary sources.  

To review the lesson on when, why, and how to use encyclopedias check out the Canvas History 1 Research Module 4: Using a reference source for research page.

In the column on the left below you will find links to encyclopedias that will aid you in this project.

In the middle column, you'll find some reliable websites that will give you a detailed overview of your Middle East country.

In the column on the right below you will find some questions which help you get the most out of a research article.

Gale Encyclopedias - available online


Other online encyclopedias

These encyclopedias are available online. Click on the links below to go straight to the 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? 


Citing a reference source

If you are citing a reference article from an eBook, 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 Virtual Reference Shelf.