How Do I Find Credible Sources on Book Banning?

Answer

Unfortunately, this is a topic that comes up frequently, but the good news is, that means there are lots of books, articles and other sources for you to use for your assignment!

When we talk about "sources," we are talking about an actual item that you read (magazine article, book chapter, etc.) that you use to help write your paper. Opposing Viewpoints (Gale in Context) is a database - a collection of articles, book chapters, statistics, etc. that you can search through to find your sources. It's more like the tool that you use to find your sources. 

Try searching a combination of these keywords:

  • "Book banning" OR "banned books"
  • censorship
  • "challenged books"
  • library OR libraries

For Print Books, search the Catalog using the keywords above.

For Articles and eBooks, follow these steps to use the library's databases to search for sources:

  • Go to the library homepage
  • In the blue Research Databases tab, click on Articles to access all of the library's research databases.
  • Choose a database to begin your search (the list of Popular Databases on the right-hand side is a great place to start)
  • Click on the name of the database you would like to use, and if off-campus, enter your HFC username and password

You're ready to search! You can search for articles, eBooks, etc. using keywords that best describe your topic. Be sure to check the full-text box and click any tabs at the top of the screen to switch from Academic Journals to Magazines to Newspapers (some databases don't do this, but it's always smart to check!).

Here are a few databases that should be helpful to search for this topic:

  • Gale eBooks (formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library) - This is a collection of specialized encyclopedias, and it's a great place to start any research project to get basic, background information on your topic. A search for book banning should give a few entries that might be really useful to help you get started.
  • Opposing Viewpoints (Gale in Context) - This is a great database for this topic! If you look towards the middle of the main page, on the right-hand side there is a light bulb that says Browse Issues. If you click on that, you will see a list of suggested topics. Scroll down and choose Book Banning to see a collection of sources you can use for this topic. The Viewpoints are argumentative essays written for/against an aspect of your topic, but you can also find great Magazine, Academic Journal, and Newspaper articles.
  • News (Gale OneFile) - This is a database that searches newspapers across the country. Because this topic tends to show up in the news quite a bit, it would be a good idea to look for news articles that talk about more specific instances of books being banned. Using the phrase book banning for your search will give lots of results, but you can also add a location (Michigan or even Dearborn) or a reason books are banned (LGBTQ or race) if you want more specific articles.
  • Please be sure to save any articles you find useful! You can do this by clicking on the envelope icon (right above the full text of the article) and entering your own email address and hitting send. This will send you a link to take you directly back to your article! The web address at the top of the screen will not work, so please be sure to save responsibly!

For additional resources, try researching book banning here:

  • Banned and Challenged Books - American Library Association: The ALA tracks book banning and censorship carefully, sponsoring a top ten list of commonly banned books, an annual Banned Books Week, and has more statistics and info on book banning.
  • Banned in the USA - PEN America: PEN America is a group that advocates for freedom of expression and fights censorship in literature and journalism. They have a great document detailing the rise in book banning in the U.S.

If you need additional assistance, please contact your HFC Librarian.

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  • Last Updated Jul 17, 2023
  • Views 348
  • Answered By Janel Mills

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