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Alexander the Great: Home

Research tools for World History I, Mr. Ward and Mr. Treadwell.

Library Data Bases

Search tips

-Use the index to determine if a print resource will cover your topic

-Use the 'find' function to search an online document

-When you find a source, CITE IT RIGHT AWAY

-Use the 'notes' and 'bibliography' from scholarly materials to find further resources

-When doing key word searches, search for synonyms: trees, pine, coniferous, timber, forest, lumber, forestry...

-Examine good results for "tags" or "subject headings" and use those to find more relevant results.


Great Sources in the Library


Alexander III of Macedon ruled his kingdom for just thirteen years, but that was enough time for history to remember him as Alexander the Great. Since his death, Alexander's exploits have been the subject of controversy and debate, leading many to question whether he truly deserves his epithet.

You will write a blog that answers the question: Was Alexander the Great really great? 

Before you get there though, you will need to determine your definition of greatness. Keep in mind, as you complete research, your definition of greatness may evolve. 

Description of Project:

1. Background Knowledge
a. Read Ch 5 Sec 4 & 5 and take Reading Quiz
b. Read and discussed in class Plutarch’s lives on the U of Chicago and discussed in class.These sources may be used in your project.

2. What is greatness? 
a. Identify a person who is someone in your life you consider great and why? (3+sent)
b. YouTube song what is a song that describes greatness to you and why? (3+ sent and the link)
c. Advice to 5th grader what would you tell a 5th grader if they asked you about how to become “great”?

3. Personal Research
a. Research Log limited to resource from Upper School Lib Guide OR Library Resource page (EXCEPT NO SEARCH ENGINES) 10 - 15 entries 

b. Document  - Argument, 3- 5 supporting quotes and an outline 

             Create a new Google Doc with the following sections…

              1. ORIGINAL ARGUMENT (Why is Alexander the Great or not great based on your description of greatness)
              2. Link to your Research Log
              3. REVISED ARGUMENT (After completing your research, you may need to tweak your argument based on new knowledge.)
               4. 3-5 quotes which support your argument. 

4. Blog Entry 
a. Blogger
b. Multimedia component
c. 5 paragraph entry (Introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and Conclusion)
d. MLA Works Cited

This post is available for everyone to see! Take pride in your work, including your grammar and the overall appearance of your work.


Should I use Google?

There is a lot of information available on the internet via a Google search. Not all of it is valid. The key is to find credible sources written by authorities on the topic.

In general, college and university websites which end with .edu can be trusted. Websites that end with .gov are associated with the government and can also be trusted. Websites that end with .mil are associated with the military and provide good insights into both history and policy.

Websites that end with .com, .org and .net are not as reliable. They are sometimes sponsored by commercial ventures or organizations who, in some way, profit from promoting a particular point of view. In other words, they are biased.

To limit your search to only a certain type of website use a site limiter (site:edu, or site:mil)

A sample search might be: site:edu ancient greece

Finally - try Google Scholar. By typing scholar into the Google search box, you can click on Google Scholar. Most articles within this database have already been limited to scholarly content. 

More Google Tips:

site: search only within a specific site
filetype: find a type of file; PDF, DOC, TXT filetype:PDF
define: find definitions for a word define:fugacious
intitle: find words in the title of the webpage intitle:nepal
.. get ranges of numbers, dates, or prices earthquakes 1950..1999
word * word find other combinations of words between words global * warming
- word search for one word, but not in combination with another clinton -hilary
"word" find exact words - no synonyms or plurals "election" "fraud"
"set of words" search for exact set of words, quotes or phrases "I am not a crook"


Finding Library Materials

Use the library catalog to do key word searches. 'ancient greece' will show materials, primarily, in 938 (history), and 305.4 (social and cultural issues); 'alexander the great' shows 938 and B, for biography. Browse to the right and left of any particular title to find similar materials. Look also in the Reference section, under the same call number, for more books on the same subject.


Original Author

Cite your sources!

Save yourself a lot of heartache and immediately record all potential sources as soon as you find them. You may record them in NoodleTools, EasyBib, or simply on note cards. Early on in your research you may not know what is going to turn out to be valuable information when making your argument. You definitely don't want to waste valuable time retracing your steps through the library where you THINK you saw something important. Write it down right away! You may use it, you may not. But at least you have the information at your finger tips. This trick will help you avoid a common plagiarism trap - failure to cite your source because you lost it.

Wikipedia? If you use it correctly!

Wikipedia should not be used as one of your sources. However, there is nothing wrong with using Wikipedia as a starting point for research. Wikipedia can give you a good overview of a topic and reading the references at the end of the article can get you started on finding reliable, scholarly sources for your own research.