Research Guide for

ENGC 1101 College Writing (Contreras-Sawyer)


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Credo Reference
Credo logoArticles from dictionaries, general and subject encyclopedias, handbooks, atlases, and more.

Gale eBooks
Selected dictionaries, encyclopedias, and reference books in many subjects.

Image Focused Databases

ARTstorImages from museums and archives covering the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences.

Note: To download images, first register for a free Artstor account.

Project MUSE
Journal articles and books on literature, history, visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, and more.

Library of Congress: Documenting America
The photographs in the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944.

City of San Francisco Museum
The museum page on Dorothea Lange's pictures at Raphael Weill.

Social Context


The setting in which something occurs. We all act in a certain way based on cultural norms. For example, I would behave differently around a group of friends than I would around a classroom of students. These norms help us relate to others giving us rules and laws that all can follow. They are almost always considered positive, but can sometimes affect societies and groups in negative ways. (Think of Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, US internment of the Japanese) 


  • How did their everyday lives change?
  • How did this affect their education?
  • How did it change their family unit? 
  • How were their social structures changed?

Helpful Databases

Academic Search Premier (EbscoHost)
Articles in all subjects from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. An all-purpose database and often a good place to start.

Scholarly articles, ebooks, and primary sources in the social sciences, humanities, earth and biological sciences, and more. Includes image results from Artstor.

Salem History
Ebook encyclopedias on history topics from Salem Press including primary documents, important events and eras, and more.

Historical Context


Historical context reflects the time in which something takes place or was created and how that influences the way you interpret it. In other words, it is the events that took place around something which help you to understand that thing.  ( )

Questions to Ask:

  • What was going on in the world?
  • In what type of society did the event take place?
  • Where did the ideas for the event come from?
  • Who was involved?
  • What would the people involved in the event have to gain or lose?
  • How was life for those involved different after the event compared to prior to the event?

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photo of DavidDavid Vrieze Daniels
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