Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

IS 201: Life in Urban America (B. Bousquet)

Historical and Cultural Context

Everything comes from somewhere

Historical and cultural context is part of every topic--none of your topics exist in a vacuum or came into the world fully formed.

Look for overviews for initial context

Credo Reference will show you encyclopedia overviews related to your topic (not everyone will have one that is relevant, but most will). Book introductions often give overviews. Organization websites often give the context of the cause for which they exist.

Documentaries give good context

Your topic may have a documentary (as streaming video) in AVON or on DVD on the library shelves (search OneSearch). This is very useful for getting a visual, personal look at the issues--and hearing it straight from the sources.

Note that bias is much easier to slip through in audiovisual sources.

Vogel Library, Wartburg College   |   100 Wartburg Blvd, Waverly, IA, 50677 |   Phone: 319-352-8500   | Email: