Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Historical Context: Part 3 of your Research Paper
This part of your paper should include two and a half to three pages that connect events from your novel with the historical time period in which it is set. First, determine the time period of your novel and then do some background reading on that period of history. You may also include sociological, psychological, or health science issues involving the characters that are relevant to a particular time or era. Just be sure to show specific connections between your novel and events or issues of historical significance.
Historical context includes the political, social, cultural, and economic setting for a novel. Understanding the historical events surrounding a time period will help you compare actual events and issues to those in your novel. If you are reading Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, you might want to know about American perceptions of the war during the late 1960's and early 1970's.
You can find a wide selection of books at the nearest IRSC Library or go online to locate books and articles from the College's electronic collections.
Social or Psychological Issues
You can write about social and/or psychological issues that relate to the characters or events in your novel. Examples might include 'sexual harassment' in Disclosure or 'mental illness' in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Find Articles Related to the Time Period or Issues (online)
Use IRSC's online databases to find information about social, political, and economic issues during specific time periods. Look in the 'Alphabetical' listing for these suggested databases.
Contact an IRSC librarian if you need assistance.
EBSCO Academic Search Complete This link opens in a new window
Academic Search is a monthly indexing service. It was first published in 1997 by EBSCO Publishing in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Its academic focus is international universities, covering social science, education, psychology, and other subjects.
EBSCO History Reference Center This link opens in a new window
Covering both U.S. and world history topics, History Reference Center is a full-text database featuring historical reference books, magazines, journals and thousands of primary source documents.
EBSCO APA PsycArticles This link opens in a new window
Delve into the science of psychology and behavior with APA PsycArticles, the database of full-text peer-reviewed articles published by the American Psychological Association and affiliated journals.
Gale eBooks: Virtual Reference Library This link opens in a new window
Use this databases for general reference information on time periods and influential people.
Find Books (print)
To find books in an IRSC Library, use the online catalog. Here are some examples of books that are available and may help you to get started.
America in Vietnam by
Call Number: 959.704 SCH
Excerpts from this book explain American attitudes toward the Vietnam war and difficulties facing returning veterans.
Gender and Violence in the Middle East by
Call Number: 362.83 GHA
The chapter on 'Islam, Gender and Violence' may give insight into the religious constraints placed on Princess Sultana.
The Sixties in America
Call Number: REF 973.92 SIX v.3
For a brief overview of this time period in American history look in the index for Vietnam War.
Gulf Women by
Call Number: 305.4 GUL
Publication Date: 2012-11-01
This groundbreaking collection of essays provides a greater understanding of the history of the Gulf and the Arab world and is of relevance to Muslim women everywhere. Featuring research never published before, Gulf Women is the result of a project aimed at finding sources and studying the history of women in the region. The chapters cover ancient history and the medieval, early modern, and contemporary periods.