Finding Sources

(In Bruges, living with water is a daily reality. Photo by John Vanveen, with permission)


Research is an important part of writing an essay. The reader is not going to be satisfied with generalities, so we need specific and accurate information. However, we can’t be satisfied with just any book or article. We have to find sources that are reliable and trustworthy.

Finding Sources

For your essay you will need a minimum of three sources, of which at least one has to be a book and one a webpage.

To help you get started, here is a list of the kinds of books on natural disasters that you may find in your local library:

  • Abbott, Patrick Leon. Natural Disasters. (2013)
  • Barnard, Bryn. Dangerous Planet: Natural Disasters That Changed History. (2003)
  • Bechtel, Stefan, and Tim Samaras. Tornado Hunter, Getting Inside the Most Violent Storms on Earth. (2009)
  • The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America. (2010)
  • de Boer, Jelle Zeilinga, and Donald Theodore Sanders. Earthquakes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Seismic Disruptions. (2005)
  • Dinwiddie, Robert. Violent Earth. (2011)
  • Fecher, Sarah. Freaky Facts About Natural Disasters. (2006)
  • Fradkin, Philip L. The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906: How San Francisco Nearly Destroyed Itself. (2005)
  • Griffey, Harriet. Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters. (1998)
  • Guiberson, Brenda Z. Natural and Man-made Catastrophes Through the Centuries. (2010)
  • Hyndman, Donald, and David Hyndman. Natural Hazards and Disasters. (2013)
  • Jones, Lucy. The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them). (2018)
  • Langley, Andrew. Hurricanes, Tsunamis, and Other Natural Disasters. (2006)
  • Lundin, Cody. When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes. (2007)
  • McDonough, Brendan. Granite Mountain: The Firsthand Account of a Tragic Wildfire, Its Lone Survivor, and the Firefighters Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice. (2017)
  • Mother Nature Goes Nuts! Amazing Natural Disasters. By the editors of Klutz. (2008)
  • The Natural Disaster Survival Handbook: 151 Survival Tactic and Tips. By the editors of Outdoor Life. (2016)
  • Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters: The Economics of Effective Prevention. By the World Bank. (2010)
  • Nature’s Extremes: Earthquakes, Tsunamis and the Other Natural Disasters That Shape Life on Earth. By the editors of TIME. (2011)
  • Tagliaferro, Linda. How Does An Earthquake Become A Tsunami? (2009)
  • Watts, Claire. Natural Disasters. DK Eyewitness Books. (2006)
  • Ylvisaker, Anne. Droughts. (2003)

If you are doing your topic on a Canadian natural disaster, here are some possible resources for you:

  • Asher, Damian, and Omar Mouallem. Inside the Inferno: A Firefighter’s Story of the Brotherhood that Saved Fort McMurray. (2017)
  • Daffern, Gillean, and Derek Ryder. The Great Kananaskis Flood: A Disaster That Forever Changed the Face of Kananaskis Country. (2016)
  • Dixon, Joan. Extreme Canadian Weather: Freakish Storms and Unexpected Disasters. (2009)
  • Hawley, Jerron, Graham Hurley, and Steve Sackett. Into the Fire: The Fight to Save Fort McMurray. (2017)

Note that we haven’t provided full bibliographic information, or else you wouldn’t have anything to do!

Next, you will also need to find some reliable online sources. Don’t rely on Wikipedia for your topic. Watch out also for sources that are mostly pictures (such as this photo essay). Find a quality web page with detailed and scientific information.

Here are some further resources to help you do online research:

What is Research?


Reading Sources Effectively

Tips for Doing Research With Google

Evaluating Online Sources