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WRPR 165: Contemporary Narratives of American Violence (HC) Spring 2015: Primary Sources

Writing Program 165: Contemporary Narratives of American Violence (Hyland) Spring 2015

Finding Primary Sources

You might already have a primary source—a contemporary narrative of violence—in mind.  If you don't, however, you can use these tips to identify relevant texts.

    • Secondary and background sources on a topic in literature, film, music, art, and so on frequently discuss specific primary sources.  By first identifying secondary and background sources on your topic, you can not only identify primary sources, but also find primary sources central to the scholarly discussion of your topic.
  • Use the Advanced Search feature in Tripod to search subject headings (for genre type: e.g., fiction, drama, etc.) paired with a topic.  Use this guide to identify the relevant subject terms.  Some examples include:
      • "Drama" is the subject heading (see below) for film and theatrical performances, but "motion picture" can return a number of results.
  • Find anthologies of relevant narratives:
    • One way to find anthologies is to use the Advanced Search feature to combine a keyword search (e.g., for violence) with the words Anthology OR Reader in the title field—here are the results for this sample search.  (You'll get a lot of critical discussions of your topic, but you also might find collections of primary documents.)