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Link to Washington and Jefferson College

World History

This guide will introduce you to resources you can use when researching world history

Why Use Background Information?

Stack of BooksFinding background information is an important part of the research process. It helps you:

  • learn about topics with which you are unfamiliar
  • identify important facts related to your topic - keywords, dates, events, history, and names and organizations
  • refine your topic
  • find additional sources of information through bibliographies and works cited

Reference Databases

Reviewing the literature or gaining background information on a topic is a critical first step in the research process. You might do this by conducting a Google search or going to Wikipedia and reading up on a subject. We suggest using the reference databases the library subscribes to or books found in the reference section as a scholarly alternative.  

The History of Our World in 18 Minutes - TED Talk

David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in 18 minutes in this TED Talk.