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SPA 452C Topics: Spanish American Literature Nobel Prize Winners

La guía es para estudiantes en el seminario Capstone español de Yuma que examina las obras principales de los ganadores del Premio Nobel de Literatura hispanoamericanos del siglo XX. The guide is for students in the Yuma Spanish Capstone seminar exam

Kinds of Sources

What do I need to know? First, determine what kinds of information do you need to gather.

Primary Sources are first-hand accounts. The texts you are reading are a primary source; they are the most important primary source you're working with. Other examples are diaries and letters, photographs, maps, and biographies written or created at the same time as your text. These sources can add context to your literary research.

Reference Sources give you a broad overview of the topic. They provide commonly known facts. Reference sources are not usually cited in your paper yet may be useful for the foundational background in your subject and to ensure you have a thorough grounding in the topic.

Literary biographies provide you with ample information about authors, with an emphasis on how their lives are related to their writing. They may provide rationales and the impetus behind why the literature was written.

Secondary Sources are referred to as criticism. These are materials that scholars have written about a particular work of literature, movement, or author. Criticism can help you get a sense of the themes or movements which scholars studied and debated. They may help inform your own understanding of a text, either because they reinforce your interpretation, or differ from it. Literary criticism is most often published in books; yet is often found in scholarly journals as well.

What to Know

Your best bet is to begin early by thinking of your topic, designing a research question, developing a thesis statement, drafting an outline of your paper, and then start considering the kinds of information resources you need to support your research question.

Literary Analysis

Information evaluation

Next, evaluate the information.  There are various ways to assess your information.  One technique is to use the CRAAP method.

C = Currency; is this information written to the time frame you need?  Does it match with the rest of the information you are gathering.

R = Relevance; how important is this information to your topic?  Does it relate to all the other data you have collected? If it does not, then question why you would want to use it!

A = Authority; who is the source of this information?  Is it a reliable source?  Is there contact information in case you need to ask any follow-up questions?  Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?  Look at these domain as reference:

.com (commercial)

.gov (government)

.edu (education)

.org (nonprofit organization)

.mil (military)

.net (network)


Watch out for:

  • Self-published material (this means it hasn't been edited or reviewed by someone else)
  • No author named
  • Inflammatory or emotional language
  • Statistics, facts, or research referred to but not cited
  • Opinions presented as fact
  • Statements/conclusions that contradict other credible sources


Using Internet Sources: Evaluating Information: Applying The CRAAP Test (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose)