Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

SSI1-149: Transgressive Bodies: Getting Started

This course guide highlights only a small portion of the many resources available to you.  If you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact Angela!

Types of Sources

In academic research, it's important to be able to distinguish between different types of sources.  These differences often are contextual, meaning that a single source might fit in different categories depending on how you are using it and in what academic discipline you are writing.

Primary sources are the raw materials of scholarship.

Secondary sources report on or interpret primary sources.

Tertiary sources synthesize and present overviews of primary and secondary sources.

Scholarly sources present sophisticated, researched arguments using both primary and secondary sources and are written by experts.

Popular sources aim to inform or entertain and are intended for a general, non-specialized audience.  In academic writing, popular sources most often are analyzed as primary sources.

Background Sources: Online Reference Collections

These online collections will introduce you to a wealth of dictionaries and encyclopedias saving you hours of research time later on by helping you define and refine the parameters of your research question.

Here's what subject encyclopedias provide:

  • a broad overview of a topic that is more in-depth than in general encyclopedias
  • Discussion of how scholars have approached, explored, and debated the topic over time (historiography)
  • words, phrases, names, dates, and events that can be used as keywords when searching a database
  • bibliographies in articles to find other sources (both primary and secondary)
  • cross-references to find related topics

From Topic to Research Question

Research typically begins with a topic that has piqued your curiosity.  When you're researching a topic, you typically are interested in questions of who, what, where and when.

As you learn more about your chosen topic, however, you'll discover that scholars may have different approaches and arguments about the topic, and you'll start to ask your own research questions.  Research questions typically begin with why or how:

Start with Primo

Primo is library search tool for finding materials in the Collins Library, Summit libraries and libraries worldwide. It includes books, ebooks, selected articles, images, videos, and more!

Examples of subject terms appear below. Copy and paste the terms in Primo's search box.

Modern Dance Political Aspects

Modern Dance Social Aspects

Modern Dance Philosophy

Modern Dance History 20th Century

Postmodern Dance

Ballet History

Sex in Dance

Women Dancers
Male Dancers

Dancers Biography

Choreographers Biography

Mary Wigman

Isadora Duncan

Alvin Ailey

Bill T. Jones

Serge Diaghilev

George Balanchine

Primo Search Tips

When using Primo, try these searching techniques:

  • Scopes are different collections to search.  Change scopes by using the drop down menu next to the search box. The default scope is 'Collins, Summit, and Articles.' It includes items owned, subscribed to, or accessible by Collins Library, and items owned by the 39 academic libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance. Selected articles subscribed to by Collins Library are available. Search individual databases for more comprehensive results.
  • Use "advanced search" for more precise searching.
  • Use quotes to search for "exact titles."
  • Use the facets in the right-hand sidebar to quickly navigate through search results.
  • When you find an item that seems relevant, look at its subject terms to find similar items. To do this, simply click on one of the subject headings listed in the record for the book; the next screen will list all the books that share this subject term.
  • Don't forget to sign in! When you sign in to Primo, you are able to do the following:
    • Access your account to view what you currently have checked out
    • Request or renew items
    • Access externally licensed resources
    • Save items from your results list and searches you have performed for future use
    • Set preferences to reflect the way you usually search and save them for future sessions

Call Number Location Chart

Looking for the location of a print book?

The call number location chart identifies the floor where the call number may be found in the book stacks.
Tip: Print books about dance are generally classified as GV 1580 - GV 1835, on the second floor. You'll also find dance music in ML 1450 and ballets (full scores, piano scores, excerpts) in M 1520 - ML 1526.

Featured Books about Choreographers


Angela Weaver's picture
Angela Weaver
Collins Library 131

Featured Books about Dance