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English: 76-10X Series (First-Year Writing): Becoming and Unbecoming Ourselves on Social Media

This guide contains a series of guides designed to help students enrolled in the 76-10X series complete their assignment according to the BEAM framework.


To find background sources, the best strategy is to look at encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, and books.  This strategy applies to library catalogs and databases that contain "reference collections". 
Here is how you can locate these materials:
  1. First and foremost, build a list of related words (synonyms vs antonyms; broad vs narrow terms).  For example, Language (linguistics, communication, verbal, non-verbal) or Identity (representation, self, group identity, online identity, culture, behavior, expression, etc.)
  2. Always use Advanced Search so you can build a specific strategy, using AND, OR, NOT, and specific fields:
  • For example: [Subject] contains Social Media AND [Subject] contains Identity AND [Subject] contains Encyclopedias

Here are some sample results from our library catalog, based on the strategies above:

From the library catalog


These sources are more likely to be journals, specialized books, databases that contain data sets.  To find them, you need to think about the type of information you need and ask yourself:
  1. Who might publish that information?  For example, datasets on Language are typically collected by the census, international organizations, gallop reports, etc.
  2. What type of exhibit?  Are you looking at historical data?  current data?  How long of a set?  Are you needing surveys?
  3. Where would this data be published?  reports (by for-profit), gallop surveys (by governments or a non-profit), statistical publications (typically by organizations)?  Original research (typically in journal articles)?

Here are core databases on this subject:

Core Databases

Related Guides


Remember that your topic could fall under interdisciplinary subjects.  You should always consider other guides.