high school

World History - Early People Groups Research Guide
 Welcome to the Early People Groups Research Guide
(Thanks to Mrs. Range / Century Library for creating most of this material - found here)
PAGE ONE: Overview / Quick Pick Resources

Welcome to the guide for your World History research project!

This project is designed to:


  1. give you a general overview of early African and American cultures.
  2. offer an opportunity to use library and online resources.
  3. review your understanding of the interconnectedness of philosophy, economics,
    geography, government, and sociology (PEGGS).
  4. give you an opportunity to show your skills in comparing cultures and
    communicating your thoughts.


Use the links and information on this guide to assist you with finding
and using research for your project.

Quick Links to Databases


This Encyclopedia offers small snapshots on topics, plus external websites selected

WORLD BOOK TIMELINES  Need to see a historical timeline? This site may help.

Ancient Encyclopedia
Ancient History Encyclopedia

The world's most-read history encyclopedia.

Their mission is to improve history education worldwide by creating the
most complete, freely accessible and reliable history resource in the world.


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Page 2 - The Research Process
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Advice for Getting Started

Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin? This page walks you through
the process that Mrs. Range used to complete the research for this project.
It also contains links to resources, screencasts, and a few tips for success.

Still not finding what you're looking for? Try checking in with your
World History teacher or with Mayo Library Staff.

1. Read the assignment.

  • Take a few minutes to read through the assignment sheet.
    Read slowly (don't just skim). Figure out exactly what's being asked of you.
  • Ask questions if you have any.
  • Think about if you have interest in or background knowledge about a
     particular group or groups. 

2. Read Chapters 13 and 14 in your textbook and take notes.
    Find your chosen cultures on a map.

  • Read the entire chapter.
  • Then decide which groups you would like to focus on for your research
    (one from the Americas and one from Africa). Which sections seemed
    most interesting to you? Which sections contained details you would like
    to learn more about?
  • Next, go back and reread the sections on your chosen groups. As you read,
    take notes in a way that makes sense to you. Be sure to jot down key terms,
    important people, notable accomplishments, and important dates.
    Try to think critically about your chosen groups and how they interacted
    with others.
  • Finally, find the geographic location of your chosen cultures on a map.
    The textbook may help you with this or you might have to do some searching.

3. Do some basic searches using the database, World History in Context.
    Read and take notes. Save and cite your sources as you go.

Search tips and tricks:

  • Keep a running list of key terms and subjects as you search. Some will return
    more (or better) results than others, and you won't waste time trying
    terms that return no results.
  • Try mixing and matching different terms, and choosing both broader
    and more specific terms. The more terms you add the fewer results
    you will get (usually). Not getting enough result? Choose a broader term.
    Getting way too many results? Be more specific.

4. Browse some print sources. Use the index and table of contents to help you.

Mayo Library Staff has pulled together a cart of library materials to assist you with
research for this project. Take some time in class to browse through these print
materials, but be sure to return them to the cart when you are finished.

A few words of advice:

  • Be sure to examine each book before you start searching for relevant
    information in it. Ask yourself: Which area(s) or culture(s) will be covered
    in this book? Is it organized alphabetically or geographically?
    What time periods are included?
  • Remember, you don't have the read the whole book! Use the table of contents
    and the index of each book to help you use your time efficiently. 
    (We'll also talk about navigating print reference materials in class.)
  • Take notes and jot down citation information as you go. Be sure to write down
    the book title, article title, author's name, page number, and copyright date. 
    Pro tip: A fast way to do this is to take a pictures of the copyright page and
    the section of the book that you used (including the page number).
    This will help you return to it quickly.

5. Try some other digital sources.

There are many other digital sources in which you can search for information.
A few options:

  • Try the databases linked above (these links will work if you are using a
    school computer).
  • Log in to MackinVIA and select "Databases" to browse additional
    subscription databases. This is also how you can access our databases
    if you are researching from home.
  • Your favorite search engine may also retrieve some useful information.
    Be sure to evaluate the information you find, and remember that you can
    also combine multiple terms to create more specific and advanced
    searches (refer to section 3, above, for tips).

6. Still not finding enough information?

If you're not finding any useful information about your selected group(s),
you may want to check in with your teacher or Mayo Library Staff. It also may be
time to consider researching a different group instead.

7. Complete your table worksheet to compare and contrast your African and American groups.

A word of advice: Remember to think broadly about PEGGS, as most books and
articles won't use those exact terms. For instance, connect terms like "trade" and
"agriculture" with Economics and "culture," "practices," and "religion" with Sociology. 


8. Create your written and visual comparisons.


When you have collected your information and notes, you will create a table to
compare your two chosen cultures. Refer to your project description for details or
talk to your teacher if you have questions.

9. Finalize your Works Cited page.


For additional resources on completing and formatting your Works Cited page,
please refer to this page of the guide.

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Page Three: MLA Support
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MLA Citation Basics

When writing and editing your Works Cited entries, each one should clearly
answer each of the following questions:

  • Who is the author of the source?
  • What is the title of the source?
  • How was the source published?
  • Where did you find the source?
  • When was the source published?

These questions correspond with the MLA Style Citation Core Elements listed in
the image at right. These Core Elements are assembled in a specific order and
separated with specific punctuation (as pictured). Not every source entry will have
every core element included in your citation.


Questions quoted from MLA Handbook. Eighth edition, The Modern Language Association of America, 2016, p. 13.

MLA Citation Examples


How to cite a book in MLA 8 

Author's Last name. First name. "Title of chapter or selection." Title of 
      the work
,  translated by or edited by First name Last name, vol.
      number, City of Publication*, Publisher, Year the book was
      published, page numbers (s).



How to cite a website in MLA 8

Author's Last name, First name. "Title of the Article or Individual Page."  Title of
       the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.

url = Uniform Resource Locator (URL), colloquially termed a web address


Works Cited Entry Details

  • Author names are listed with the last name listed first, followed by a comma
    and the first name. Middle initials or names follow the first name.

Middleton, John.

Moss, Joyce, and George Wilson.

Carrasco, David, with Scott Sessions


  • Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc., but do not capitalize
    articles or coordinating conjunctions such as “the” “a,” “an,” "and,"
    or "but" unless it is the first word in the title or subtitle.

Africa's Glorious Legacy

Daily Life of the Aztecs: People of the Sun and Earth



  • Use italics for titles of larger works (books, magazines, website names) and
    quotation marks for titles of shorter works (poems, articles, web pages).

World History in Context (database)

Peoples of the World: Latin Americans (book)

"Mayas" (book chapter)

"African History, 500-1590" (database article)


  • For web sources, include the web address as the location. It should be
    formatted with regular font and does not need any special designation,
    such as brackets. Do not underline the web address or hyperlink in your
    Works Cited page.​


  • When a publication â€‹date is not included on your source, include the date
    you accessed the information at the end of your citation. This often is
    needed for web-based sources.

Accessed 28 Nov. 2016.

Accessed 1 May 2014.



For more detailed explanation of these and other formatting guidelines, refer to this page from the Purdue OWL.

Formatting a Works Cited Page

Once you have all of your MLA-style entries created, watch the tutorial below to
learn how to properly format your Works Cited page before turning it in.
We'll cover details such as creating a hanging indent and arranging entries.
The first half of the video covers Google Docs and the second half
(starting around 2:25) covers the same skills using Microsoft Word. Y
es, this is exactly the same as your English Foundations project. :)

More MLA Resources

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