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GQS 360: Genealogies and Theories: Deconstructed Research Project

Start Your Research at the Library!

Use this guide to get started with your research for GQS 360: Genealogies and Theories!

For your research assignment, you will be deconstructing a chapter of C. Riley Snorton's book Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity by looking up some of Snorton's source material and getting into the details of his analytical methods. Why would we want to do this? Mining citations is an effective research strategy for finding related sources, learning about the development of knowledge on a topic, and understanding the origins and development of a theory.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to interpret a citation to locate a specific item at Collins Library and beyond.

What kind of resource is it?

Consider the citations below and match them to the correct resource type.

Ivy, Nicole. "Bodies of Work: A Meditation on Medical Imaginaries and Enslaved Women," SOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society 18, no. 1 (2016): 11-31. 

Book: 0 votes (0%)
Essay/Chapter in a Book: 0 votes (0%)
Journal Article: 10 votes (90.91%)
Magazine or Newspaper Article: 1 votes (9.09%)
Website: 0 votes (0%)
Other: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 11


Page, Enoch H. and Matt U. Richardson. "On the Fear of Small Numbers: A Twenty-First-Century Prolegomenon of the U.S. Black Transgender Experience." In Black Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies, edited by Juan Battle and Sandra L. Barnes, 57-81. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010. 

Book: 2 votes (18.18%)
Essay/Chapter in a Book: 7 votes (63.64%)
Journal Article: 1 votes (9.09%)
Magazine or Newspaper Article: 1 votes (9.09%)
Website: 0 votes (0%)
Other: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 11


Lezin, Katya. "Transgender People in Charlotte Struggle to Find Tolerance." Charlotte Observer, January 5, 2015. 

Book: 0 votes (0%)
Essay/Chapter in a Book: 0 votes (0%)
Journal Article: 0 votes (0%)
Magazine or Newspaper Article: 5 votes (50%)
Website: 5 votes (50%)
Other: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 10


Ellis, Nadia. Territories of the Soul: Queered Belonging in the Black Diaspora. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.

Book: 9 votes (81.82%)
Essay/Chapter in a Book: 1 votes (9.09%)
Journal Article: 0 votes (0%)
Magazine or Newspaper Article: 1 votes (9.09%)
Website: 0 votes (0%)
Other: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 11


Ziegler, Kortney Ryan, dir. Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen. 2008; San Francisco, CA: BlackStarMedia, 2008. 

Book: 2 votes (20%)
Essay/Chapter in a Book: 1 votes (10%)
Journal Article: 0 votes (0%)
Magazine or Newspaper Article: 0 votes (0%)
Website: 1 votes (10%)
Other: 6 votes (60%)
Total Votes: 10

Following the Bibliographic Trail

Being able to interpret a citation is an important research skill. Conventions for documenting sources vary by discipline, but typically a citation tells you enough basic information to go and find the item no matter what style is used (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).

There are three steps in following a citation trail to locate an item at Collins Library.

1. Read the citation to determine what kind of source you are looking for (a book, a journal article, something else).
2. Choose the essential citation information you need to locate the item.
3. Use Primo to search using the citation information.

Identifying the Parts of a Citation

Before you can find the full text, you need to understand the parts of a citation.


Example of a Journal Citation

Keeling, Kara. "Looking for M—: Queer Temporality, Black Political Possibility, and Poetry from the Future." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 15, no. 4 (2009): 565-582. 


Example of a Magazine Citation

"The Man Who Lived 30 Years as a Woman." Ebony 31, no. 1 (November 1975): 85–88. 


Example of a Book Citation

Weheliye, Alexander G. Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014.


Example of an Essay in an Anthology or Edited Collection 

Snorton, C. Riley and Jin Haritaworn, "Trans Necropolitics: A Transnational Reflection on Violence, Death, and the Trans of Color Afterlife." In Transgender Studies Reader 2, edited by Susan Stryker and Aren Aizura, 66-76. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013.


Use Primo to locate these sources.

Search Primo

Searching for Sources with Primo

Once you've identified a citation, your next step is to locate the full text. Whether it's a book, magazine, journal, or newspaper article, check Primo. Use the location chart to identify the floor of a physical item.

Searching Primo for a book is pretty straightforward: search by the title of the book and/or the author's (or editor's) name. If you are looking for a chapter or essay in an edited collection or anthology, again search by the title of the book.

Locating individual articles (from a magazine, newspaper, or scholarly journal) in the library catalog is a little like looking for a needle in a haystack. For this reason, searching for the journal first is often a more effective way to find an article. To locate a specific article from a citation, follow these steps:

  1. Type in the title of the journal in the Primo search box. Limit the "Material Type" to "Journals"
  2. Find the record in our library catalog and determine whether the journal is online or in print.
  3. Locate the correct year, volume, and issue number.
  4. Locate the article within that issue using the table of contents or the page numbers indicated in the citation. 

Practice: Deconstructing Your Book Chapter

Review the notes and bibliography section for your group's chapter and identity 4-5 sources to locate. Jot down the citations and look for the full text in Primo.

For each of your sources, note your search results. Does the library own or provide access to the item? If yes, where can the full-text be found?

If your source is only available in print, you may request books for curbside pickup or request that portions of print books be scanned. To submit a request, make sure you are logged in with your Puget Sound username and password and click the relevant link within Primo (under "Request Options").

If the library doesn't have access to the source, trying requesting it via Summit or Interlibrary Loan, or choose another citation.

Humanities Librarian

Katy Curtis's picture
Katy Curtis
Office: Collins Library 140

Related Subject Guides

Tipasa: Interlibrary Loan

Tipasa logo

If your article is not available at Collins Library, you've got another option for getting it. Use Tipasa, our interlibrary loan service.

Tipasa is linked to your library account so you'll need to log in to use it.

Once you are logged in, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form, like this:

Interlibrary Loan Link

Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.