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MESAS MESAS 200W/HIST 296W Middle Eastern Civilization: From the Mamluks to Modernity (Main)

What Primary Sources Do You Need?

Starting your research

Follow these tips to produce a successful research paper:

1- Develop a Research Question

Be sure to pick something that interests you and relates to the course. Try to find a question for your topic. Background reading always help you find a good research question. For doing that you need to know reference resources. Reference resources will provide some new angle on your topic which can help you in creating your research question.

The databases below compile reference sources from a variety of disciplines, and they can be a great way to consider how your topic has been studied from different angles>

2- Decide on Sources

Before you begin searching in our catalog discoverE, it's often helpful to come up with a variety of search terms. These are usually people, place, or thing that is somehow related to your topic.  these keywords  will help you start your search. You can add some keywords such as chronicles, biographical , travel narratives, Personal narrative, bibliography to narrow your search to more related sources.

Then think of what types of information you need. what are scholarly or academic sources?

Academic sources are:

  • Authoritative: academic sources identify the qualifications and expertise of the writer. A source written by a recognised expert in a field is more likely to be trustworthy.
  • Sourced: academic writing is careful to credit the origins of information and ideas, usually by means of a reference list or bibliography.
  • Peer-reviewed: other academics have read the source and checked it for accuracy. Before publication in an academic journal, for example, an article is checked by a panel of referees. Academic books are checked by editors and other reviewers.
  • Objective: academic sources aim to examine a topic fairly. 
  • Written for academics: academic sources target university lecturers, students, and professionals interested in the theoretical side of a topic.

Types of academic source:

The most common forms of academic source are:

  • Books
  • Journal articles
  • Published reports

Now that you have your keywords and you decide about the types of information you need for your paper, you can start your search through the library website. Enter your keywords into the search box. All results with those keywords in the title or description will appear in the search results.