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One Book 2017-2018: March ( book 3): March - further research: Background Sources

Get Informed

Enrich your understanding of the events, people, places, and issues portrayed in March, book 3 with some outside research and reading.  Start your research with background information from an academic encyclopedia.
Read closely for...

  • definitions
  • an overview of key issues       
  • stakeholders (the groups or individuals
    this topic concerns)
  • about one specific culture
  • based on fieldwork of some kind 
  • context - how your topic relates to other issues that surround it
  • a historical perspective on your topic
  • legislation on this topic
  • the specialized vocabulary (you will use these words for searches in the research process!)

Automatic Citation Generator


Access online tutorials using the links below:

A Caution about Wikipedia!

Wikipedia often comes up as the first / an early result if you search any of these topics on the web. But unlike the academic reference articles linked on this page, the articles in Wikipedia are not automatically written and edited by experts. Anyone can write for and edit Wikipedia!

This makes it difficult to trust Wikipedia to give us the level of subject expertise we need to use for college-level research. It's much better to choose a relevant article from an academic subject encyclopedia instead.

Featured Print Reference Sources in Holman LIbrary

Background Information

Start with Reference Sources

Start with the following online library databases to gather background information (who, what, where, why, etc.) on your topic.

These academic resources are more reliable than Wikipedia. Why not Wikipedia? While Wikipedia is easy to find and use (and a great public project), articles in Wikipedia are anonymous and openly edited. That means for academic purposes, Wikipedia is not an authoritative resource.

Finding a Background Article in a Reference Database

(GVRL, U.S. History in Context, or Opposing Viewpoints in Context)

You will enter your topic (your choice from the list to the left) in the search box. Use "quotation marks" if your topic is more than one word, to keep the phrase together. Make sure the "Keyword" search option is selected, and hit "Search."

GVRL Advanced Search Screen

Choosing a Good Reference Article on Your Topic

Look near the top of your article results list to see how many results your search found. The article title will appear on top of the encyclopedia title. You can select an article by clicking on the article title to open. (Avoid clicking on the encyclopedia title.)

In order to choose a good background article, look for an article that covers your topic from an encyclopedia related to the ideas from the book March. In the search results below, I would select an article from the Encyclopedia of African American History and Culture or Race and Racism in the United States as results that match themes from the book. 

I would NOT choose the result from a literature encyclopedia, because literature is the study of fiction, and the events in March are real-life events.

American Dream GVRL search results

Possible Topics

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Freedom Rides

Mississippi Freedom Summer

Jim Crow or Jim Crow laws

The U.S. Civil War



John Lewis

Medgar Evers

Fannie Lou Hamer

Rosa Parks

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ralph Abernathy

Segregation AND United States

Brown v. Board of Education

March on Washington

The Poor People's March

Freedom Riders

Malcolm X


St. Augustine AND civil rights movement

Civil Rights Movement

Lyndon B. Johnson AND civil rights movement

John F. Kennedy AND civil rights movement

Daisy Bates

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church And Birmingham

Integration AND Central High School

Lunch counter sit-ins

Letter from Birmingham Jail

Ella Baker

Civil disobedience

Mahatma Ghandi

Julian Bond

Black Panther Party

Selma march

Bus boycott

Women in the Civil Rights Movement

Students AND Civil Rights Movement

Pre-Reading Research: Potsubay

The graphic novel March - Book Three focuses on the climax of what is now referred to as The Civil Rights Movement. Having knowledge of the following people, places, and events will enrich your understanding of this very complex piece of American history and your appreciation and enjoyment of the text.