This is the "Online Assignment for February 14" page of the "Italian Studies Resources" guide.
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Italian Studies Resources   Tags: courseguidespring13, italian studies resources, italy  

Guide to Resources in Italian Literature and History
Last Updated: Feb 12, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Online Assignment for February 14 Print Page

Due on Friday, February 14

Complete the four assignments below and come to class prepared to share: one book title ; one encyclopedia article; one scholarly article; one newspaper article. The books and articles should simply be something that you found interesting, you do not have to decide on your actual  topic until after the class discussion.

Save the  book/article information on your desktop, or  bring print-outs to class.


Assignment 1 Find one book on your topic

Go to the library homepage and use  Books & More to browse books on broad research topics; type several of the topics below into the search box and find at least one interesting recent book that you can report on in class. To keep track of the book: email the citation to yourself,  or print the catalog record for class. If the catalog record includes a Table of Contents for the book, print the Table of Contents as well.

General Terms


Combine Italy or Italian with more specific topics

  • “Baking--History”   or  “Bread”; “Chocolate”; “Pastry”; “Corn”
  • Soccer -- Political aspects -- Italy


Assignment 2 Find one encyclopedia article on your topic

You identified some broad topics in your exploration of books on Italy (in your subject search in the Duke catalog in assignment 1 above). Use the subject terms associated with the broad research area you identified and search each online encyclopedia linked in the box on the right using the subject terms that describe your topic. Find at least one encyclopedia article. Keep track of the article so that you can talk abut it in class. To keep track of the article: email the citation to yourself, email/download the article, or print the article for class.


Assignment 3 Find one scholarly article on your topic

You now have a broad research area for your project, be it Italian history of the 20th century, be it football, be it food culture, Italian business or something else. You are now ready to find one scholarly article on your topic.

In the box on the right are databases that present research from a particular angle, be it history, literature, art or philosophy. Start with a broad search term, then use the subject suggestions to find one article that looks interesting. To keep track of the article: email the citation to yourself, email/download the article, or print the article for class.

Please note: the databases on the right will help you conduct a more focused search than bigger discovery systems like the Duke AllSearch or Googlescholar


Assignment 4 Find one newspaper article on your topic

While it is easy to find news articles for today's news  free online, a systematic search of news for the last 20 years has to be done in fee-based databases for newspapers to which Duke subscribes.

Use the databases on the right to find one newspaper articles in your area of research; you can limit your search to either articles about Italy in English language news, or you can use the database functions (see LEXISNEXIS example below) to limit to news published in Italian. 

To keep track of the article: email the citation to yourself, email/download the article, or print the article for class.

LEXISNEXIS guide:  How to find foreign language news in LexisNexis

FACTIVA guide: How to use the Search Builder

Moore information on Newspaper Research


First time user: Frequently asked questions

If this is your first time using Duke Libraries for a research assignments, the following basic information will be of use:


Instructions for assignment 1: Find books

The library catalog lets you search for books, journals, DVDs, music, and research materials that are available in the Duke University Libraries.

When you know exactly what you want:

  • Search the library catalog by title or author of the work (Ex. Mccann, Colum).
  • Use the catalog's advanced search for the most precise searching.

When you are starting a search on a new topic:

  • Use the default keyword search to see what books we have on a particular topic (Ex. civil war).
  • Click on relevant suggested subjects for more focused search results (Ex. united states - history - civil war, 1861-1865).


Instructions for assignment 2: Find background information

Encyclopedias provide succinct and reliable background information; scholarly encyclopedias have more substantial essays and a better selected bibliography than Wikipedia


Instructions for assignment 3: Find scholarly articles

More: look at

Databases by Subject to find a database in other specialized research areas


Instructions for assignment 4: Find newspaper articles

Aggregated sources for News in Italian

  • LexisNexis Academic Provides full text access to a wide range of. US. and international newspapers, radio and television transcripts.
  • Factiva The database makes available articles in full text search-able by topic or date range  
  • Alternative Press Index - Alternative Press Index Archive (APIA) is a bibliographic database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles from over 700 international alternative, radical, and left periodicals.
  • Ethnic newswatch  Contains the full text of more than 450,000 articles, editorials, and reviews published in nearly 200 ethnic and minority newspapers, magazines, and journals published in the United States.
  • InfoTrac Custom Newspapers Provide indexing and full-text articles from national and international newspapers.
  • Issues and Controversies Explores more than 900 hot topics in business, politics, government, education, and popular culture. 

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