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Starting Your Research
When starting research on any topic, it's crucial to get in the habit of questioning the sources that you find. Of each source, ask:
- Who wrote this source?
- Who is the audience for this source?
- What is the purpose of this source? (To inform, entertain, or educate?)
Schaffner Library in Wieboldt Hall
As a Northwestern Academy student, you will have access to e-books, news, reference, and scholarly journal articles that we have in the library's collections that are available electronically through the NUSearch, the library's search engine. Log in with your NU Net ID and password to get access from home.
The main search tool for NU Library books and other materials, combining the library catalog with a wealth of article databases and online collections.
Request Books from the Main Library
Not available for fall 2021: Northwestern Academy students can request books from the Main Library or the Oak Grove Storage Facility and pick them up at the Schaffner Library in Wieboldt Hall.
Information on Chicago
The information sources on this page are generally considered to be primary sources, in that they provide first-hand accounts, data, or evidence of different phenomenon, events, people, and ideas within the city of Chicago. These sources are awaiting your scholarly analysis!
Local newspapers are a great place to learn about stories that might exhibit courage, conflict, families, the power of communities, or movements. NUL provides access to the following newspapers with your NU NetID and password.
Below are freely available Chicago news outlets that also feature stories of local interest.
WBEZ 91.5FM News
Local radio news coverage of the City of Chicago and surrounding area.
Block Club Chicago
2017-present. "Block Club Chicago is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to delivering reliable, nonpartisan and essential coverage of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods."
No longer updated but has stories 2009-2017. "DNAinfo is Chicago's leading neighborhood news source. We deliver up-to-the-minute reports on entertainment, education, politics, crime, sports, and dining. Our award-winning journalists find the stories - big or small - that matter most to Chicagoans."
Find more information about Chicago's neighborhoods
Data can provide quantitative information about Chicago's neighborhoods and their resources (or lack thereof). You can use data to inform an argument, add statistics to make a story more credible, or to backup your own personal experience.
City of Chicago Data Portal
The City of Chicago's open data portal lets you find city data, lets you find facts about your neighborhood, lets you create maps and graphs about the city, and lets you freely download the data for your own analysis. Includes data and maps on education, the environment, public safety, and transportation, among other topics.
Chicago Area Research Guide
This library research guide links out to a wealth of information on Chicago's history, laws, and government.
U.S. Census Bureau Data Navigator
The U.S. Census gathers data every 10 years on the population's demographics, housing, families and living arrangements, computer and internet use, education, health, economic demographics, transportation, and income. It breaks down information by zip code, so you can zero in on a local area.
Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.