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POLI 076: The Obama Presidency (Fall 2020)

Library Session September 1, 2020

Goals for today

  • Learn where to go for help.
  • Practice searching library resources for information.
  • Practice asking questions about the information you find.


Please respond to poll at:

Activity 1. Citation chasing

Small group activity (5 minutes)

In your group:

  • Introduce yourselves.
  • Find the cited publication for your group (see below). Make sure everyone in your group can do this.
    • Can you get to the full text? If not, how would you get your hands on this publication?
  • Wherever you found the publication, can you use the same tool to find other publications on the same topic?
  • Be prepared to tell the class (you can designate spokespeople):
    • What type of publication you have (book, article, etc.).
    • Where/how to find the publication.
    • How to find other publications like it using the same tool.

Group share (20 minutes)

Activity 2. Asking questions about the information you find

Small group activity (15 minutes)

In your group:

  • Introduce yourselves.
  • Work together to answer the following questions about the publication for your group:
    • Who is the creator? What can we learn about them from the publication (e.g. their profession, affiliation, credentials?)
    • Where did this publication appear? Who is the publisher? What kind of publisher is it?
    • When was it published in relation to the events it deals with?
    • What is the purpose of the publication?
    • Who is the intended audience?
    • How would you characterize this publication (e.g. academic, general interest, special interest)?
    • How might you use a publication like this in a research paper? Can you use it for this assignment?
  • Be prepared to share answers to the above questions with the class (you may designate spokespeople).

Group share and discussion (30 minutes)

  • primary vs. secondary sources
  • academic vs. non-academic sources
  • placing sources in historical context

Citations for Group Activities:

Group 1.

Stanford, Karin L. Beyond the Boundaries: Reverend Jesse Jackson in International Affairs. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997.

Group 2.

Jackson, Jesse, Frank Clemente, and Frank E. Watkins. Keep Hope Alive: Jesse Jackson's 1988 Presidential Campaign: A Collection of Major Speeches, Issue Papers, Photographs, and Campaign Analysis. [Washington, D.C.]: Keep Hope Alive PAC, 1989.

Group 3.

Dates, Janette Lake and Oscar H. Gandy. "How Ideological Constraints Affected Coverage of the Jesse Jackson Campaign." Journalism Quarterly 62, no. 3 (1985): 595-600, 625.

Group 4.

Tate, Katherine. "Black Political Participation in the 1984 and 1988 Presidential Elections." The American Political Science Review 85, no. 4 (1991): 159-176.

Group 5.

Cobb, Charles E. "Stereotyping of Jesse Jackson." Los Angeles Sentinel. February 2, 1984.

Closing remarks


Walton, H., Jr., Allen, J. A. V., Puckett, S., Deskins, Donald R., Jr., & Tate, B. D. “The Literature on African American Presidential Candidates.” The Journal of Race & Policy 4, no. 1 (2008): 103-123. Retrieved from:

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Kirill Tolpygo
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