Finding Literary Criticism

1) Start

With your instructor-- If you have any questions about the assignment, get them cleared up BEFORE you spend time doing the research.

At the Reference Desk--2nd Floor North or 460-7025 or
Let the Reference librarians help you develop an appropriate research strategy for your particular project.

Try this Assignment Calculator from the Univ. of Minnesota for help planning your time and executing the paper writing process.

2) Books

SOUTHcat Catalog -what we own; open to anyone on the 'net. Keyword search author's last name and criticism; note call # area and go browse the shelves. Most literature (and its criticism, which is often shelved adjacent to the work) is on the 4th Floor South, but you need a call # to find it. Try the audiovisual tutorials.

NetLibrary -11,000 electronic books [subscription]

Reference Books- Reference Area, 2nd floor North: encyclopedias, reference books

E-Reference --subscription-based and free reference sources

OED-Oxford English Dictionary -
THE ultimate etymological dictionary

Oxford Reference Books-- full text of dozens of Oxford dictionaries, handbooks and companions --huge database of books from most U.S. and many world libraries

Dissertation Abstracts/Digital Dissertations -- abstracts and often a few full-text pages of dissertations and theses written in every academic field. Search with very broad subject headings. Theses and dissertations written at USA can be read full-text online.

InterLibrary Loan -- order books or articles from other libraries; free if available in Alabama; but you must allow 7 days minimum.

3) Articles

Literature Resource Center [Under Gale/InfoTrac] selected full-text, from both books and articles; click on the "criticism" tab. Always use database's own print button.

JSTOR All full-text articles from 60 online journals; all articles are PDF format and at least 3-5 years old, but many much older articles. Use "economy" mode to print which you sent in "preferences." Always use database's own "print" button.

Project Muse

Periodicals Archive Online -- similar to JSTOR

Academic Search Premier [Under Ebsco] some full-text. Always use database's own "print" button.

MLA International Bibliography [Under Ebsco] The most important database for literary criticism (includes articles, books and chapters of books) , but it is not the easiest to use. It has some "linked" full-text, but does not include fulltext items in the database itself. Always use database's own "print" button.

Oxford Journals Online --particularly good for linguistics

Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature (1890 - 1982) no full-text, but back in the time!

DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals. Free academic journals on the public Internet.


4) Where do you go when you have the information about an article, but need to find the journal volume / issue with the actual article in it?

Our Journal List --USA Subscribed, Full-Text, Electronic Journals and Print Holdings

5) Smart "Public" Internet Searching

a. Use well-regarded and recommended Internet sites

b. Evaluate what you find through a search engine extremely carefully. Criteria for Evaluating webpages

c. Use an "advanced" search engine like Google Advanced Search and limit to "more trustworthy" domains

d. Try Google's version of a scholarly search: Google Scholar. Excellent for finding out who's citing whom.

6. How do you cite from online databases:

Bedford St. Martins: Research and Documentation Online by Diana Hacker

7) Plagiarism--The number one academic crime!

plagiarism for students



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