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Course: Civ 2024: Reference

Getting started

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Reference sources are great places to get an overview of your topic. By carefully reading a detailed reference article you can get a solid grounding on the facts or background of an event, person, or time period. Look at the slide show below to get an overview.

For this project you are required to look at the entry about your artist/musician from Grove Art or Grove Music (also known as Oxford Art/Music Online). It can also be helpful to read an entry from the recommended historical encyclopedias to give you historical context.

Use the Guiding Questions below to help you read your reference source thoroughly.

Grove Art and Grove Music

Classical Music and the Color Line - Boston Review

Guiding questions

These guiding questions will help you get the most out of your encyclopedia articles:

  1. Who is mentioned in this article? Include names of key people, political parties, organizations, etc.

  2. When and where does this article cover? Note if this article covers a specific location and time period.

  3. What events, concepts or ideas are in this encyclopedia article?

  4. How does this encyclopedia article connect to other things you know, such as what was in your current event story? 

  5. What do you need to know more about after reading this article and what search terms could you use to find what you need?

  6. Look at the bibliography and identify what other potential sources you could look for. Note the names and authors of books and articles from the bibliography or further reading.

  7. Summarize what you think this article is saying. You can write this as a bulleted list.

  8. What stood out for you in this article. What ideas does this article generate that you want to explore further? 


Finding a historical reference article

You can look for also historical background about your location in these encyclopedias about different time periods in Europe and the United States:

Working with Reference Sources

Keeping track


Don’t forget you will need to cite these sources, so create a project in Noodletools and start a bibliography using Chicago style. Make sure you have all the relevant information, or have a way to be able to get back to it:

  • In long entries there will likely be multiple authors and bibliographies. Make note of the authors of the sections you are using.
  • Email yourself the article.