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GSFA 199.01 Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People(Cathy Thomas-Grant)

This guide provides links to information that will help you answer research questions for weekly assignments and your midterm.

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Film for class

King in the Wilderness


Biographical Information

Historic Information

Further Resources


Evaluating Sources

Key questions when evaluating a source:

  • What expertise does the author hold?
  • What evidence does the author provide?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the main purpose?

Evaluation in Four Moves

Education expert and information literacy blogger Mike Caufield came up with these "four moves" for evaluating sources:

  • STOP. Most stories you see on the web have been either covered, verified, or debunked by more reputable sources. Before diving in, find a reputable source that has done your work for you. If you can find that, maybe your work is done.
  • INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE. Trace the claim or story or research to the source. If you don’t recognize it, you will need check the credibility of the source by looking at available information on its reliability, expertise, and agenda.
  • FIND BETTER COVERAGE. Most stories shared with you on the web are re-coverage of some other reporting or research. Follow the links and get to the source. If you recognize the source as credible, your work may be done.
  • TRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES & MEDIA BACK TO ORIGINAL CONTEXT. A reminder that even when we follow this process sometimes we find ourselves going down dead ends. If a certain route of inquiry is not panning out, try going back to the beginning with what you know now. Choose different search terms and try again.

Adapted from "Recognition Is Futile: Why Checklist Approaches to Information Literacy Fail and What To Do About It" by Mike Caulfield, February 18, 2018, 



Weekly Presentations

Each week you will partner up with someone and share a song that is either from the reading or fits into the subject matter being discussed that day. Each presentation should last no longer than 10 minutes. You will provide:

  • A recording of the song on either YouTube, or Spotify.
  • The Lyrics to the song. You will email these to me in word format on the Monday before your presentation so that I can make copies for the class. These lyric sheets must include TITLE, COMPOSER, AND PERFORMER, YEAR OF PUBLICATION, RELEASE DATE and WHO HOLDS THE COPYRIGHT.
  • You will cover the songwriter, the singers, and tell us how their life or lives influenced the writing of the song  Biographical information
  • You will also speak about what is going on politically, socially and culturally at the time the song was written and the purpose of the song within that context. Historic information
  • You need to provide images of the event, find those powerful images that speak to you.  Perhaps you trade off with each other, moving through images as the other person speaks.  Work as a team. Archival information (Photos/ Magazines)
  • Written work handed in for this should include an outline of the presentation and all of the sources you used to pull the presentation together. 



...  In your presentation, please provide the following:              

            For the Artist

  • An in-depth profile of this artist’s life. Biographic information.  
  • Excerpts from at least three songs. Pick excerpts that speak the heart of each song and analyze the lyrics for us.
  • What political and/or cultural events triggered these songs? History, News,& Archival information 
  • You can use images, interviews, excerpts from documentaries, news commentaries etc… History, News, & Archival information 
  • Please provide lyrics for the class in some form.

For the Event

  • In-depth coverage of the particular event and this events historical impact.  History, News,& Archival information. Impact can be measure/determined different ways.
  • For the various artists you cover, a bit about their life, the songs and the relationship of the songs to the event.
  • You need to provide excerpts from a minimum of five songs.
  • Please provide lyrics for the class in some form.