Friday, December 17, 2010

Urban Legend Storybooks

There are literally thousands of urban legends to choose from at, and the trick is finding just which specific kind of urban legends you want to work with. "Urban legends" is not a topic of its own, but it offers lots of potential topics to choose from!

Luckily, Snopes is divided up into different topics and sub-topics so that you can zoom in on something manageable. Possible topics might include urban legends about love (or about weddings), horror stories, college life, stories about medicine (or pregnancy in particular), legends about foodcrime stories, animals, and more!

You can also search Snopes for a specific word or phrase using the search engine at their site. So, for example, here is a search of the site for the word football.

To get an idea of some of the specific types of urban legends that students have worked with in the past, you might want to take a look at some of these past Storybooks.

There are other urban legend sources that you can use online, but I would strongly recommend that you focus on because of the extremely helpful background material that they provide for each legend. You can learn a lot from reading the history of each legend, and that in turn will help you in writing your own author's note for each story.

If you are interested in reading an overview of Snopes and their reliability (because they include political topics, they are sometimes accused of political bias), I would recommend this informative article: Is a reliable source? You might also be interested in the FAQs provided by Barbara and David Mikkelson, the authors behind Snopes: Frequently Asked Questions.

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