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Performing Arts (BPA): Start Your Assignment

Other Guides of Interest

Browse the Shelves

General materials on theatre are shelved in the PN  and PS classification sections. To assist you in browsing the library collection, the following provides a further breakdown of these categories.

PN 1560 - PN 1590 
Peforming Arts including Theater
PN 1600 - PN 1967 
Drama Criticism & Theory
PN 2000 - PN 2053 
Theater Production and Direction
PN 2055 - PN 2075 
PN 2080 
PN 2085 - PN 2096 
Stage and Accessories  
PN 2101 - PN 3307 
History of the Theater
PN 6111 - PN 6120
Anthologies of Plays
PS 8163 - PS 8177.5 
Canadian Theatre Criticism
PS 8307 - PS 8315.5 
Collections of Canadian Plays

Theatre Reference Resources

Print and online resources are available.

Music and Art Resources

Literary Database

Zotero - Organize and Cite Your Sources

Automatically grab citation information, organize your sources and then create instant bibliographies with Zotero.

Available as a plug-in for Chrome or as a stand-alone tool, Zotero sits in your web browser waiting for you to locate and save resource information through a simple click.

How to Start Your Research Assignment

What do you have to do to successfully complete this assignment? How long will each step take you?

Make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish. Set a schedule to finish each task. Put the schedule into your calendar.

Is your topic the right size? Most students choose a topic that is too large. Doing some presearch on your topic can help you get the big picture and understand what narrower topics are available.

Reference resources help you get started on a new topic, answer quick questions, and/or point you to further resources. Examples of reference resources include:
Almanacs - Atlases - Dictionaries - Encyclopedias - Handbooks - Indexes - Thesauri

Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced encyclopedia. Credo Reference is a collection of all of the above.

What questions will you need to answer to write about your topic? What information will you need to find to support your argument?

Make a list to help guide your research.


It's true - keywords are the key to success when it comes to research. Generating a list of keywords before you start searching - and adding to the list as you go - will make you an efficient, effective searcher. If you can't find what your looking for, it's probably due to bad keywords. 

  1. Write down your topic.
  2. Identify which of the words you've written can be used as keywords. Hint: pick only ones with meaning directly connected to your topic. Ex. Are safe-injection sites good for Vancouver
  3. Brainstorm synonyms, broader & narrower and related words. Ex. safe-injection sites = Insite, needle exchanges; Vancouver = Lower Mainland, Canada, BC, British Columbia, Fraser Health


What kind of resources are you able to use for this assignment?  Where can you find these kinds of resources?

  • academic vs popular
  • primary vs secondary
  • media 
  • reports and data