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HIST 203: Canada Since 1867

Research guide for HIST 203 (Winter 2024)

Finding Background Information: Encyclopedia Articles

An encyclopedia article is often the best place to look when you need to know the context of a situation, the basic outlines of a person’s life, or why a place is important. Encyclopedia articles are a great first step as they provide background material to help your understanding of the historical events. These are not materials to base your research papers on, but they can provide you with the knowledge and vocabulary necessary to search for more substantive material.

A good encyclopedia article is written (and signed) by an expert on the subject and represents the consensus of scholarly opinion. A good encyclopedia article should also have a short bibliography on the subject of each article, a list of sources for further reading.

There are several kinds of encyclopedias; general encyclopedias (e.g. Encyclopaedia Britannica), subject encyclopedias (e.g. The Canadian Encyclopedia), and biographical encyclopedias (e.g. Dictionary of Canadian Biography) to name some important categories.

Find more examples of encyclopedias and other sources to get started with choosing a topic on the Canadian History Subject Guide:

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