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WRTG 105 Contemporary Social Movements (O'Donnell): Library Session 2

Library session handouts

Annotated Bibliography Requirements:
1-2 in-class readings/viewings OR 1-2 primary sources of your own choosing or combination of those
3-4 outside scholarly sources

Search Faster - Phrase searching, Boolean, Truncation, & Combining Terms

Search faster with these tips:

1. Search phrases using quotation marks " "  Example:  "to be or not to be"

2. Combine words with AND, OR, & NOT in capital letters.  Example: microcircuit OR nanocircuit"

3. Substitute * for several possible letters.  Example: Child* which will find child, children, childhood, etc.

4. Combine the three tips above for complex searching.  Example: homless* AND (health OR "health care") AND (adolesc* OR teen*)

In library databases it might look like:

In Google Scholar, you don't need the asterisk or AND, so it will look like:

Choosing the right database

Ask yourself what type of source is more likely to have the information you need and how will I use this source?:

  • News articles?
  • Scholarly journal articles?
  • Empirical studies?
  • Data and statistics?
  • Primary documents?

Deciding the most likely source will help determine which database to use. Different databases are composed of information from different types of sources.  BEAM is a method for helping you decide how you might use a source.

Ask yourself if the database you select provides full-text, or only citations and /or abstracts:

  • If the database you need to use does not have full-text, use the or  buttons.
  • If you have a citation, use the Citation Search Tool to locate the full-text.

Understand the scope of the database you select. Ask yourself:

  • Does this database cover the subject area (discipline) I really need, or is there a better, more focused database?
  • Does this database provide indexing for the date range I need?
  • Will this database point me to or provide the full-text for articles written during the time period that is appropriate for my research need?

Although retrospective materials are sometimes added to databases, the actual article you need might not be available electronically, because it is too old or too new. 

Ask yourself if there are special advanced features that can improve your search results or make searching easier:

  • Does this database allow me to limit my search to a specific date range, or to a particular magazine or journal?
  • Does this database allow me to email, download, or export articles to my citation manager like Zotero or RefWorks?
  • Are there features that can help me to generate better search terms, like the Thesaurus feature or the "Browse Subject Headings" features in some databases?

What are primary sources?

Primary sources are documents or physical objects created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Examples include:

  • ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS (excerpts or translations acceptable): Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records 
  • CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art 
  • RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings
    (e.g. "Six" [an audio poem] by S.Pearl Sharp and a Ferguson Letter to Justice Department on predatory policing by the City Council of the City of Ferguson written 4 Dec. 2015).

Secondary sources interpret and analyze primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources may have pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources in them.  Examples include: Textbooks, journal articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, and encyclopedias (e.g. Lindsey, T. B. (2015). Post-Ferguson: A “herstorical” approach to Black violabilityFeminist Studies41(1), 232-237.). 

Primary Sources and Digital Collections

Analyzing primary sources

Analyzing a Single Source

When reading a primary source it is important to look at not just it's contents, but an item's physicality.  Here are some guiding questions to answer as you examine a primary source:

  1. Look at the physical nature of your source. What can you learn from the medium of the source? (Was it written on fancy paper in elegant handwriting, or on scrap-paper, scribbled in pencil? Typed?) What does this tell you?
  2. Think about the purpose of the source. What was the author's message or argument? What were they trying to get across? Is the message explicit, or are there implicit messages as well?
  3. What do you know about the author? Race, class, occupation, religion, age, region, political beliefs? Does any of this matter? How?
  4. Who constituted the intended audience? Was this source meant for one person's eyes, or for the public? 
  5. What attitude towards the subject matter/event does the creator of the item seem to impart? (e.g. What tone is set? Are there interesting word choices and what might the author's choice in their use mean? Why was it created and what purpose did it originally serve? What biases may inherently or intentionally exist in it?).
  6. Is it prescriptive (telling you what people thought should happen) or descriptive (telling you what people thought did happen)?
  7. What historical questions can you answer using this source? 
  8. What questions can this source NOT help you answer? What are the limitations of this type of source?
    E.g. Apply the questions above to the following image:

    City of Rochester. (1964). Police follow citizens down unidentified street and enter unidentified residence after riot, Rochester, NY, 1964. [Photograph]. New York Heritage Digital Collections. https://nyheritage.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16694coll15/id/73/rec/74

Analyzing a Set of Sources

Guiding Questions:

  1. What questions do I have from examining these materials as a set?  What are the similarities? How do they differ? What greater inferences can be drawn about the about historical context from the set?
  2. What questions or further research might you have? (e.g. Are there thoughts or ideas that could be defined or explained? Is there specialized language or jargon? Are there references to places, events, or people, culture, etc?).
  3. What other primary sources might I look for to help round out the story behind the sources you currently have?
  4. What ideological theories or philosophies can be applied to the item?
  5. How might I compare these sources to other readings and assignments in this course?
    E.g. Compare the primary source above to this video footage:

Police Response to #BLM at Rochester, NY (2016-07-09). [video]. Internet Archive.

https://archive.org/details/PoliceBLMRochesterNY20160709

Citation Tracking: Finding articles by citation

Once you have one (or more) useful article on a topic, use the references at the end of article to find more sources on your topic using our Citation Search tool.  This helps you see what was written previous to your current article, often called citing backward.

 

Use Google Scholar to see who has cited your article after it was published.  This helps you see what has been written after your article was published, citing forward.


 


 


 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Justina Elmore, University of Rochester

BEAM Method

 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Justina Elmore, University of Rochester {{cc-by-4.0}}.  Adapted from Kristin M. Woodward & Kate Ganski's "What Could A Writer Do With This Source?" 

BEAM & the #metoo movement
B
ackground: 
Onwuachi-Willig, A. (2018). What about# UsToo: The invisibility of race in the# MeToo movement. Yale LJF, 128, 105. 
Will use this to establish the history of the "me too" movement.

Exhibit:   
Lady Jane. [@letsgohawksgpg]. (2021, Oct. 15). With all the coverage of Gabby Petito it’s imperative you cover this story to balance it up [Tweet]. Twitter. https://tinyurl.com/vy3zn224
Will use this as an example from social media for the argument on the media's treatment of black women.

Argument: 
Onwuachi-Willig, A. (2018). What about# UsToo: The invisibility of race in the# MeToo movement. Yale Law Journal Forum, 128, 105.
Will use this to argue about how the media ignored black women (p. 116) & how corrupt police officers have "targeted black women, trans women, and other marginalized women because they are less likely to be believed" (p. 117)].

Method:
Sighele, S., Huhn, T. & Pireddu, N. (2018). The Criminal Crowd and Other Writings on Mass Society. University of Toronto Press. https://doi.org/10.3138/j.ctv8bt0w8 
Will use this to explain mob theory and how it applies to my argument.
 

Article citation Primary or Secondary? Background Exhibit Argument Methods
Onwuachi-Willig, A. (2018). What about# UsToo: The invisibility of race in the# MeToo movement. Yale LJF, 128, 105. S Will use this to establish the history of the "me too" movement.   Will use this to argue about how the media ignored black women (p. 116) & how corrupt police officers have "targeted black women, trans women, and other marginalized women because they are less likely to be believed" (p. 117)].  
Lady Jane. [@letsgohawksgpg]. (2021, Oct. 15). With all the coverage of Gabby Petito it’s imperative you cover this story to balance it up [Tweet]. Twitter. https://tinyurl.com/vy3zn224 P   Will use this as an example from social media for on the media's treatment of black women.    
Sighele, S., Huhn, T. & Pireddu, N. (2018). The Criminal Crowd and Other Writings on Mass Society. University of Toronto Press. https://doi.org/10.3138/j.ctv8bt0w8 S       Will use this to explain mob theory and how it applies to my argument.