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Genocide Resource Guide

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Erika Figueroa, History
Northridge Academy High School, Grade 10


The following resources are designed to support Northridge Academy High School students with their genocide research assignment.

Research Overview | Getting your Research Started | Periodical Indexes/Databases | Recommended Databases | Finding Articles | Citation and Evaluation Guides | Reference Services |


Research Overview

Take the time to plan your research strategy.

  1. Focus the topic and create list of keywords.
    • Five common ways to narrow a topic are: location, gender, age, ethnicity and time period.
    • Think about ways to describe your topic and create a list of keywords.
  2. Locate appropriate resources:
    • Does your instructor require you to use certain types of sources?
    • Reference Books - there are encyclopedias for almost any subject
    • Books
    • Articles - newspapers, magazines, and journals in print or online
    • Statistics - government sources are good for statistics
    • Web sites - verify information

3. Find, evaluate and record the information.

  • Did you find enough evidence to support your thesis statement?
  • Did you find conflicting information in any of your sources?
  • Are your sources all credible? Who wrote them? Experts?

4. Organize the information and create a rough draft.

  • 5Ws - Who, What, Where, When, Why (and How)

5. Write the final paper.

6. Review final paper for corrections and cite your sources.

  • Citing sources tells your teachers where you found your information. This includes using direct quotes and paraphrasing someone else's ideas and words. Using the work of others to support your argument is good, but you must give credit to the original author.

For more information about the research process see How to do Library and Internet Research.

Getting your Research Started

It's good to know something about your topic before you begin your research. Often general or specialized encyclopedias, other types of reference books or credible web sites can be used to gather basic information.

Searching for books in the library catalog is one place to start. Think about the terms or words that describe your specific topic and enter them in the library catalog as a keyword search. If you choose to search by "Subject" you may want to try some of the following Subject Headings. Again, keep in mind the nature of your specific topic to ensure the materials you find with the Subject Headings listed will be relevant to your research.

Possible Subject Heading searches in the library catalog for information on different genocides:

Armenian massacres, 1915-1923

Armenian massacres survivors

Darfur (Sudan) -- Ethnic relations

Genocide -- Cambodia

Genocide -- Rwanda

Genocide -- Sudan -- Darfur

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

Indians of North America -- Social conditions

Indians, Treatment of -- North America -- History

Nanking Massacre, Nanjing, Jiangsu Sheng, China, 1937

Political purges -- Soviet Union -- History

More about searching:

  • How to search the Oviatt Library Catalog for books
    1. Title or author search if you know exactly what you need.
    2. Keyword vs. Subject search. These two things sound the same but work differently when you are searching, so be sure to try both.
    3. Write down the location and call number so you will know where to find the book.
  • Finding Books in the library - reading a call number
  • The Oviatt Library's catalog can provide you with access to a useful online series known as A Country Study. The Country Study resource includes information on a particular country's history, culture, environment, population, religion, health, education and politics among other issues. Simply enter the name of your country and A Country Study in the catalog to find it.
  • Online Encyclopedias - Many online encyclopedias can be used to access reference materials which include articles and sometimes maps. Online encyclopedias and reference collections can be accessed below under Recommended Databases and Other Resources.
  • Internet Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves can also be appropriate tools for starting your research when you aren't familiar with a topic. However, it is important to verify this information with a credible source in the library. Information obtained from such search engines may not be reliable. Anyone can make a web site or add information to something like Wikipedia.

Recommended Databases and Other Resources

Academic Search Elite (EBSCO) - Check the Full Text box to retrieve articles online; check the Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Journals box if you are looking for scholarly articles.

Gale Virtual Reference Library - Database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. Provides searchable full-text e-book versions of over 3,500 reference works, including multi-volume encyclopedias, biographical collections, business plan handbooks, company history compilations, consumer health references, and specialized handbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. in a wide range of subject areas.

Ethnic NewsWatch - Full-text collection of the ethnic, minority, and native press. Over 270 titles, 1960-present.

GeneralOne File (Gale) - Check the Documents to Full Text box to retrieve articles online; check the Peer-Reviewed box if you are looking for scholarly articles.

Proquest Newspapers - Full text access to over 600 US and international newspapers, hundreds of other news wires and news sources. Dates vary.

Sage Reference Online - Full text to more than 460 journals in business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology and medicine.

Finding Articles Online if you are not at the Oviatt Library

You can access the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) databases from home by logging on with your LAPL card. To access the General OneFile database look for the letter “G.” The General OneFile database will meet the needs of many assignments.

Citation and Evaluation Guides

Reference Services and Library Hours

Ask A Librarian - get your questions answered 24/7

Library and Reference Desk hours


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