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Comp 132 (Bost): Primary Sources

Primary Sources

Definition:

“These provide the ‘raw data’ that you use first to test your working hypothesis and then as evidence to support your claim. In history, for example, primary sources include documents from the period or person you are studying, objects, maps, even clothing; in literature and philosophy, your main primary source is usually the text you are studying, and your data was the words on the page” (Booth, Colomb, and Williams 69).

Examples:

  • Graphic novel itself
  • Other works by the creator(s)
  • Interviews with the creator
  • Theoretical works (Understanding Comics; Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”) 

Interviews with the Author

You might find some interviews with a general Web search. These databases are another good place to look for interviews:

Books

The library catalog is the gateway to finding books and ebooks owned by the TLU Library.

Tips for Searching the Catalog

  • If you don't get any useful results using your initial keywords, try synonyms or broader terms (for example, Iran history instead of Iranian revolution)
  • Use quotes to search phrases (for example, "punk rock")
  • The catalog only contains information about books. To find articles, you will need to search in the databases (see the "Secondary Sources" tab of this guide)
  • When you find a good book in the catalog, follow the following steps to get to the book on the shelf:
    • Check the item's status. Books that aren't checked out will be listed as "Available" or "Not Charged."
    • Check the item's location. Most books are in the Circulating collection on the second floor. Some are in the Children's collection (northwest corner of the second floor) or the Reference collection (main floor).
    • Write down the complete call number. The call number is like the book's address on the shelf. Take the call number to the appropriate section of the stacks, and go alphabetically and numerically to find your book, reading one line of the call number at a time.

Call numbers on books