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WR151: Trauma, Writing, and Memory

Evaluating Resources

Key Questions to Ask:

  • Currency: is the source up to date? Is this important?
  • Relevance:  Is this relevant to my research? How?
  • Authority: Who is the author? The publisher? Could they be considered an expert in their field? 
  • Accuracy:  Does the source offer evidence for its claims? Are there citations?
  • Purpose: Is there a purpose or reason for why this was published? What is it? 

Source: Sarah Blakeslee (2004)
Read more about this method here.

Purpose of this Guide

This guide is designed to help you find sources of background information, exhibitsarguments, and research methods related to the topic of the course and your own interests.

For individual help -- no question is too big or too small -- contact me via the profile box on the right, or see the Get Help page.

Image: What would a writer do with this source? by Kristin M. Woodward/Kate L. Ganski is licensed under CC BY 4.0

How do I choose a topic?


Do some background reading. Gather basic information about your topic. Google and Wikipedia are okay for a first introduction, but you will want to dig deeper than that.  Consult the sources in this and other guides, and use the BU Library Search 

As you read:  

  • What subject areas or disciplines does your topic fall under? It could be several!
  • Look for concepts or theories that relate to your topic. 
  • Keep a list of basic terms in this topic. (Do the terms reflect a certain attitude or bias?)
  • Do these initial readings cite other sources that may take your topic further? Check footnotes and bibliographies for more sources.
  • Do certain authors or scholars appear to be experts on the topic? Try searching for their publications.

Head, African Studies Library

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Beth Restrick
African Studies Library
6th floor, Mugar Memorial Library

Mon-Fri, 9am- 5pm
Subjects: African Studies