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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

FSEM 100Q6: Shakespeare and Popular Culture: What you're looking for

Types of sources

You're looking for all three types of sources:

  Primary sources Secondary sources Tertiary sources
What they are

The things you're studying

Analysis of the things you're studying

Background information (overviews/summaries)

  • Shakespeare plays
  • Modern films, novels, TV shows, comics, etc.
  • SCHOLARLY analysis (books, journal articles)
  • POPULAR analysis (magazines, news articles, web articles)
  • Wikipedia
  • Library encyclopedias
  • Textbooks
  • Study guides
How they help you They're what you're studying. Reading them or watching them is the first step to understanding them. They tell you what other people think about your topic. They introduce you to new concepts and help you find citable sources -- but are not themselves citable.




Please make sure that your secondary sources are all scholarly analysis, not popular analysis! Here's the difference:

  • SCHOLARLY sources are written for a narrow audience of scholars (experts who specialize in a certain field).
  • POPULAR sources are written for a broad, general audience.

This video explains the difference in more detail:

Video credit: Carnegie Vincent Library at Lincoln Memorial University.

Reference Librarian

Peter Catlin's picture
Peter Catlin

Other guides

Advice and recommendations for FSEMs in general, and for English research.

The Citing Resources guide gives you examples of perfectly-formatted citations. Zotero is a free app that keeps track of the sources you've found, and generates citations without any typing.