Finding Resources

The current phase of your Wikipedia project will require that you find, read, analyze, and synthesize information on your author or text.  (Remember – – there is no original research on Wikipedia.  It’s an online reference source, not a place for original literary criticism.)  In addition to your group plan (who will do what on your article), you should also create a research plan.  E.g. where and when you will look for your information.  Post this research plan to your article “talk” page so that you can share with others in your group and they can share with you.

Here are some ways to start your research:

1)  Login to the SFSU library site and locate the “Literature Online” or the “Gale Literary” databases.  Search for your author or text.  Like all the other material you find and use, information from these sites must be sourced – – a url or link will do the trick.

2) Do a google search for archives or sites related to your author, text, or topic.   Be sure that these are legitimate sources of information – – for instance, archives or online exhibits sponsored by universities, museums, foundations, etc.

3)  Books.  Yes, they still exist.  Go to the SFSU library site and search for books about your author, text, or topic.  Alternatively, look on google books for sources.  (Beware: due to copyright restrictions, google books often only reproduces excerpts from a book.  In this case, to read the full book, you’ll have to get it from the library.)

4) Periodicals.  There’s no need to look for secondary or critical essays.  However, especially when investigating matters of biography or context, you may want to look at newspapers, magazines, and other ephemera.  The New York Times site is a good place to start (also available via the SFSU library), but there are many other historical periodicals online.  Book reviews can be a good source of information about a text or an author.  You can go on a fishing expedition in one of the SFSU Library’s online databases.  For a little more help, try this finding guide from UC Berkeley.

5)  Images and other media.  Again, archives usually include photographs, paintings, and other visual material.  You can also google search for images.  Perhaps the greatest trove of historical images can be found at the Library of Congress website.

Again, these sources must be cited on Wikipedia article page.  You might also include external links to particular, relevant sites (such as author archives or online editions of texts) and to types of media not normally permitted on Wikipedia (such as video).

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