English 4543 Women's Literature
General Library InformationIntroduction to the NSU Libraries
John Vaughan Library Physical Overview Tutorial
Library of Congress Classification system.
The Research Strategies tutorial can provide an overview to getting started in researching a topic.
In the Library Catalog, search for Women in Literature and Feminism in Literature for general books on the subject.
Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature ( Periodicals PN471 .T84) is a journal available on the second floor. The Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature Reference PN471 .B57 1992
Finding a Work of Fiction
Library Catalog is
used to find full-length novels, biographies, and collections of
criticisms. Do an author search on the author's last name. It is
also a link to electronic books.
To find short stories, poems, or plays found in anthologies, use the following indexes:
Ref. PN 1022.H39 Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry
Ref. PN2000 .P53 Play Index
Ref. PN 3373.C62 Short Story Index
Ref. PE 1106.C65 1985 A Comprehensive Grammar of the English
Ref. PN 41.H36 1992 Dictionary of Concepts in Literary Criticism and Theory
Ref. PE 1625.O87 1991 Oxford English Dictionary. (Gives the etymology of words)
Ref. PN 41.H6 A Handbook to Literature (Defines literary terms)
What is authority and why is it important?
Experts in a field are individuals who might have degrees in a field,
work in the discipline, and have published in the subject area.
Their opinions can be very useful in finding credible sources.
For instance, anyone can write Wikipedia articles, but only experts can
contribute to Encyclopaedia Britannica. Keep the following concepts in
mind when choosing and using resources for research:
1. Identify authors who are outstanding in their fields, determine the credentials of the author. Does the author have a degree in the field, is the author a professor?
2. Date of publication--is it recent? On Web pages, do the links work?
3. Does the publisher have a good reputation? Is it published by a professional association or university press? Is the journal refereed? On Web pages, check the domain (.edu is educational, .gov is government, .com is commercial, .net is network, .org is organizational)
4. How was the resource received by the critics?
5. Completeness of the material. Does the source have an index, bibliography?
6. Is the language slanted or biased?
7. Does it include well known facts or research studies? Is the information complete, accurate, objective?
8. What is the purpose of the resource? Is it for the general public, children, scholars? Is the goal to market persuade, educate?
When approaching a database, look for help screens for complete
information on how to search it effectively. Check for scope
notes that identify the contents of the database. Check for
advanced search screens and see different ways that the search can be
limited. For instance, what dates and types of materials are
included in the database? Can it be searched by full text and subject?
the search be limited by date, language or full text? Each database
uses controlled subject headings that can be accessed through the
online Thesaurus. For instance, in ERIC, writing centers are
called writing laboratories.
Locating Literary Criticism
Digests, Synopses, Author Biographies
and Genealogy Master Index Useful database when it
what biographical source to use
Literature Resource Center Contains fulltext of author biographies, brief criticisms, and some criticial journal articles.
Use the Library Catalog to find full-length biographies and criticisms of authors. Look for Norton Critical editions which contain criticism with the work. WorldCat is a wonderful database which lists all published resources (Not specific journal articles, but books, facsimile editions, AV, dissertations, etc.) Use the databases listed in the next section to find biographical articles about authors.
Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers : A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook Ref. PS217.W64 N56 1997
Criticisms on Specific Works
The following databases are useful for research on authors and specific
works. Search by the author's last name and an important word from the
title of the work. You can also include a particular
aspect. For instance, if searching for the religious aspects
found in E.M. Forster's A Passage to
India, try searching <forster and passage and
Note: In EbscoHost the * is a truncation symbol which will look for religion, religious, religions, etc.
Humanities Full Text
American Women Writers : A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present Reference PS147 .A4
Of course, there are many resources available through the Web. The
librarian for the department has created the English
page which lists some useful Web sites. The Eserver is a very good English Web
site. The library provides a list of search engines.
Search the following Web pages for interesting
The Internet Public Library and Infomine.
Cross Disciplinary Sources
Whether researching literary topics or other fields in English, it is
important to remember to look outside the field for information.
Historical materials are useful and can be found in books and articles
using such databases as America
History and Life, Academic
Premier, and Humanities Full Text.
Education journals are helpful and can be found in ERIC
Full Text. Other useful disciplines can include psychology,
religion, and philosophy.
Interlibrary Loan is available for books and journal
articles not available at NSU. Use the ILLiad
system to order materials from other libraries. Allow several
weeks for the materials to arrive.
To avoid plagiarism, it is important to cite materials correctly.
Indiana University has a good guide on plagiarism.
The M.L.A. Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
is located on the first floor of the library, Ref. LB
2369.G53. Also, try the MLA
OWL instruction on MLA Web sites. For help in citing sources, try
SophiaBeverley Threatt, MLS, MA
Instructor of Library Services
Languages and Literature and Communication, Art, & Theatre
Page maintained by: SB Threatt firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 08/02/2012