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FYS: Oh the Places You'll Go!

Library research tips for Professor Renegar's FYS
Deconstructing Travel: cultural perspectives on tourism
Toxic Tourism
Weird City
Travels in Paradox
Great Expectations: imagination and anticipation in tourism
Practicing Responsible Tourism
Devil's Bargains: tourism in the twentieth-century American West
Framing Public Memory
Exploring the Edges of Texas
The Politics of Public Memory
Once upon an American Dream: the story of Euro Disneyland
Monument Wars
Beyond Berlin
Issues in Travel Writing: empire, spectacle, and displacement

Search Tip

Think about keywords related to travel, tourism, and public memory to start your search in the library's WorldCat catalog. When you find a good book on your topic in WorldCat, try the "More like this" subject links to find more books on the same topic.


Suggested Databases for Articles

Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive multi-disciplinary full-text database. Start your research for articles here!  Tip #1: View an article's full record to read the abstract, or summary, and quickly decide if it is useful for your research.  Tip #2: Use the subject links from the full record to find additional articles.

JSTOR is a multi-disciplinary database which provides scholarly, full-text content. While coverage goes all the way back to the 19th century, be aware there is no current content for many journals. 

You must set up a free personal account while on campus and renew it yearly. provides full access to New York Times and International New York Times content, and is updated 24/7 with corresponding time stamps. For instructions on how to set up your account go to the NYT Online LibGuide.

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Evaluating websites

Use these criteria to evaluate a website: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
    • examples: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government), .org (nonprofit organization), or .net (network)

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
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There are all sorts of sites related to travel, tourism, and public memory on the web. Here are a few official websites for popular destinations. How is the Disneyland site different from the others? Try using the CRAAP test to evaluate them. 

The Alamo

Eiffel Tower

National Park Service

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

Disneyland® Official Site

MLA Citation Style

Complete your research by correctly citing all your sources. A citation credits the authors / creators of sources you used, and lets your paper's reader locate and verify these sources. MLA is the style and citation guide to use for this class. 

Purdue OWL -- Online Writing Lab -- covers the basics of MLA formatting and style. For the most complete information, use the Handbook, available in the Research Commons and on Reserve.