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Africana Studies: AFS 130

Popular or Scholarly

Popular or Scholarly
Popular: 36 votes (94.74%)
Scholarly: 2 votes (5.26%)
Unsure: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 38
Popular or Scholarly
Popular: 20 votes (46.51%)
Scholarly: 18 votes (41.86%)
Unsure: 5 votes (11.63%)
Total Votes: 43

Finding Background Information

Reference books are a great place to start exploring a topic. In addition to general information, they include references that can guide you to more resources -- saving you time and effort.

Finding Articles

Look at the subjects in databases like America: History & Life. Start with your keyword search, browse your results, and then view the subjects on a relevant article.

Finding Primary Sources: Newspapers & Magazines

Finding Primary Sources in MUSCAT Plus

Some primary source materials can be found by searching MUSCAT Plus, the library catalog, using a keyword or subject search. 

  • First try a KEYWORD search which searches all words in the titles, authors, subjects, and notes of MUSCAT Plus records. You can enter words in any order. This is the broadest, safest search. Take note of Subject Headings on promising titles.
  • Next try a SUBJECT search with the subject headings from the keyword search. T
  • Finally try an AUTHOR search to find original writings of a person or documents published by a government or organization 

    Examine the subject headings carefully. The following subheadings will help you identify books that contain primary sources. You can even use these with your keyword searches:



--pictorial works
--caricatures and 
--personal narratives
--underground literature

Scholarly vs. Popular

Scholarly Journals - written by scholars, for scholars

  • The target audience is academic or professional.
  • Articles always have references.
  • Authors are always named, and their institutional affiliation is given.

Popular Magazines

  • The target audience is the general public.
  • Articles lack bibliographies or references.
  • Authors may be anonymous.

Trade Magazines

  • The target includes people in the industry or people seeking employment in the industry.
  • Authors may mention sources but rarely cite them.
  • There is no peer review.
  • Authors may or may not be named.