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UCO 1200 - The Twilight Zone

About This Guide

About This Guide

This guide was designed to offer resources, tips, and strategies for your course research assignment. If you use some of the information offered here but are still stuck, get in touch with a librarian!

Finding Political, Cultural, or Historical Background

Finding Political, Cultural, and Historical Background

Broad Historical Resources by Decade or Year (all links open in a new window)

  • Wikipedia: 1940s, 1950s1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s
  • CQ Researcher: Library database that explores a single "hot" issue in the news in-depth each week. There are 44 reports done each year and four expanded reports.

Historical Newspapers

  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Library database that offers full-text and full-image articles for 13 large American daily newspapers and two daily British Newspapers (The Guardian and The Observer). Coverage: 1764-2005.
  • The New York Times Historical: Contains the complete paper cover-to-cover of every issue, with full-page and article images in PDF format. Coverage: 1851-2015.

Explore more App State library databases.

Note: If you've never used a library database, don't be intimidated. They're simply online collections of quality research provided by the App State Library that you can't get anywhere else. If you have questions, get in touch with a librarian!

Belk Library Books



Advanced search


To get the full text of articles, try both the Find@Appstate link and the article title, or contact a librarian for assistance.

Evaluating Information

Evaluating Information

Now that you’ve started finding sources, you’ll need to evaluate them before committing to them, but this doesn’t have to be time consuming. Just ask yourself two questions:

  1. Is this source trustworthy?
  2. And is this source suitable?

Not every suitable source is trustworthy, and not every trustworthy source is suitable.

Determining Suitability
Your task as a researcher is to determine the appropriateness of the information your source contains for your particular research project. Consider the following: will this source help me answer the research questions that I am posing in my project? Will it help me learn as much as I can about my topic? Will it help me write an interesting, convincing essay for my readers? 

Determining Trustworthiness (or Credibility)
Trustworthiness of sources may not be as easy to determine, especially if you’re doing research on the open web and if you’re in a hurry, aren’t paying attention, or haven’t checked your own biases at the door. This goes for both library and non-library sources. Pay attention to things like:

  • When the source was published or last updated - look for the most recent research on your topic but newer isn’t always better. Depending on the topic, it’s fine to consult older material.
  • The degree of bias in the source - is the author making an attempt to stay objective and include various points of view or is s/he/they pushing a point of view for other reasons?
  • Whether or not the author supports what they’re saying with evidence - if the author is making lots of claims without citing them, consider looking for something else.


Here is a video series that offers great strategies for verifying information you find on the open web.

And here is a short video courtesy of NCSU that offers general context on evaluation of information:

Research Advisory Program

Research Advisory Program

The Research Advisory Program (RAP) provides one-on-one research assistance for students. Sessions are conducted in person, by phone, or online.

Quick Links

Library Quick Links