Augustana College printing logo

HIST142: History of Sports in Africa

The Assignments:

  1. With your group, select either a sports-related development in an African country, or an Africa-wide sporting event. Follow the topic in the news media throughout the term. This research will culminate in a paper, which is the media assignment for this class.
  2. Select and research an African athlete, along with his/her country and the issue(s) with which s/he has been involved. This research will culminate in the "Development and the Diaspora" paper for this class.

Media Assignment: Choosing a topic - News media in and about Africa

"Development and the Diaspora" assignment: Research suggestions

Citing sources - Questions?

Media Assignment: Choosing a topic

Your group needs to choose a sports-related topic that you can follow in the news media this term. It should important and relevant enough for you to find sufficient information but focused enough that you can analyze it properly and won't be overwhelmed.

Internet resources may be the best way to identify topics currently in the news. Two sites I recommend:

  • Sport - is a news aggregator, which means that it collects stories from news media across the Web and presents them all in one place. This makes it a good place to browse for information on current developments in Africa; the page linked here is devoted entirely to sports.
  • Africa South of the Sahara: Sports - This is a collection of links to reliable websites about sports in Africa. Not all the sites listed here are about current sports news, but they're a good place to begin browsing for ideas.

Once you have a topic idea, start searching it in the library news databases listed below, under "Media Assignment: News media in and about Africa." This will give you a much more efficient look at news coverage and will help you determine whether the topic is suitable to this assignment.

Media Assignment: News media in and about Africa

Listed below are the resources I suggest for the media assignment. Start with the two library databases, LexisNexis and Newspaper Source; these give you the advantage of efficiency, because they search many news sources at once. Consult the Web directories later, to fill out your list of news stories from Africa. The directories will lead you to news sources that aren't in our databases; but you'll have to search only one news source at a time.

LexisNexis Academic (Library home page --> Databases --> Databases A-Z)
LexisNexis is a huge database of newspapers and other news stories from across the U.S. and the entire world. It is updated daily and gives you the advantage of being able to search many newspapers for your topic at once. At some point as you use LN, you will need to limit your search to African newspapers only. Here is how to do that:

  1. Open LexisNexis. Where it says "Source Directory: Find or Browse" at the very top of the page, click "Browse."
  2. Open the drop-down menu that says "Country," and select the relevant African country. You can also choose "Africa" to get papers from the whole continent.
  3. Click the folder labeled "News."
  4. Click the folder labeled "Newspapers." (You can also go back later to get different types of news publications.)
  5. Select the papers you want to search.
  6. Click "Ok - Continue" and conduct your search.

Newspaper Source (Library home page --> Databases --> Databases A-Z)
This database focuses on U.S. and major international (but not African) papers. It's smaller than LexisNexis but a good place to go if you want a manageable number of sources for the non-African part of your news research.

Africa South of the Sahara: African Newspapers
This is a country-by-country directory of African newspapers. Click the name of the country you are researching to find a list of newspapers with links to their websites. Africa South of the Sahara is a free Web resource.

ABYZ News Links: Africa
ABYZ works much like Africa South of the Sahara, but it covers internet, broadcast, and magazine news as well as newspapers. ABYZ also gives you the language of each news source. ABYZ is a free Web resource.
Another directory of news media. provides the ownership and/or political affiliations of each news source. Like the two directories above, is a free Web resource.

"Development and the Diaspora" assignment: Research suggestions

For information about the athlete's country and the issue s/he addresses, start your search in ALiCat; the Augustana library has a number of books on contemporary issues in Africa. To expand your search, go to I-Share, which searches academic libraries across Illinois. If you haven't yet set up an account to order books from I-Share, a librarian will be happy to help you.

Academic Search Complete will be a good article database for this assignment, because it is so broad in scope; it has magazine, newspaper, and academic journal articles from every subject area. If you need news articles about your athlete, LexisNexis could be helpful. (Note, however, that LexisNexis's coverage of most news media only goes back to the 1980s.) If you need additional scholarly articles, Historical Abstracts and/or JSTOR will be your best options.

To find Academic Search Complete, go to the library home page and click "Databases," then "Go." Find Lexis Nexis, Historical Abstracts, and JSTOR via this path: library home --> Databases --> Databases A-Z.

Citing Sources

Choose a citation style and use it to cite your sources for the assignment. Online guides to common citation styles, including MLA and Chicago Manual of Style, are available here:

Libarary home --> Citing Sources (under "Research Tools")


You are welcome to email me at with any questions about your research for this class. You can also find me at the research help desk on the second floor of the library off and on during the week.

The library also now offers in-depth research appointments with librarians; to schedule one, go to "Ask a Librarian" (under "Research Tools" on the main library page), then scroll down to find the online sign-up form.

Or, talk to any librarian on duty at the research help desk: in person, or via phone (309-794-7206), email (, or the "Ask an Augustana Librarian" chat box on the main library webpage.

Page created by Stefanie Bluemle, librarian for history, religion, and philosophy. Updated September 2014.