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Research Guides

Find Scholarly Articles

About Scholarly Sources for Hometown Research

Scholarly sources (academic books and journal articles) enable you to examine an issue on a larger, theoretical level. Thus, you may not find an article talking about economic restructuring in Federal Way, WA but you'll find plenty of books and articles about the growth of American suburbia in the last half of the 20th century.

To find articles that are applicable to your own geography of home, stay away from the very concrete (Federal Way, WA) and focus on broader issues and themes, like suburbs; post-industrialism; or a particular industry.

Why Use Scholarly Sources?

  • Scholarly sources provide historical/broader context for a topic. For example, if you are researching Seattle's International District, you may want to use a secondary source to get information on how our ID compares with Chinatowns and Japantowns that developed in other citiies.
  • Scholarly sources are usually written by expert scholars. Before publication academic books and articles are vetted by other scholars in a process known as peer review.