Eng 1213 Enright Composers

Why should I do research?

Research can lead to information; information can lead to knowledge, and knowledge is powerful. All of the informational resources available originated from someone being curious about something, exploring it, and sharing the findings. With this project, you are learning the process of doing research which can be applied to other classes, your career, and personal life.

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?

In what types of publications would I find information for my project?

Information about an event first appears on the Internet, television news, and newspapers.  It depicts what happened and provides mostly factual information.  Magazines include a little more information.  Analysis and criticism appears in journals and books.  For this assignment, most of the useful information will be found in books and journal articles.

How is the NSU library organized?

Library of Congress

The John Vaughan Library Physical Overview tutorial provides introductory material to the library's collections and services. The Research Strategies tutorial provides an overview to the research process. Use the tutorials to reinforce topics that are covered in class.

Where Would I Find Biographical Information about My Composer?

For brief biographical information, use the following reference books:

Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (Ref. ML 105.B16 1992)
Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (Ref. ML 105.S612 1997)
Definitive Kobbe’s Opera Book   (Ref  ML MT 95.K52 1987)
New Grove Dictionary of American Music  (Ref ML 101.U6N48 1986)
New Grove Dictionary of Jazz   (Ref ML 102.J3N48)
*New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Ref ML 100.N48)
New Grove Dictionary of Opera   (Ref ML102.O6N5 1992)

For more in-depth biographical information, use the Library Catalog and search for the composer by subject, last name first.


Biographical articles may also be available in journals. Use such indexes as Academic Search Premier Humanities Fulltext, and the Music Index. These titles are described in greater detail below.

How do I Become Familiar with My Composer's Works?

The  New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Ref ML 100.N48) or Grove's Music Online provides a good overview of the composer’s works and usually includes a list of works written by the musician.

For many composers, there are musical scores and CDs of their works. The musical scores are located on the third floor. To locate scores, do an advanced keyword search and list the composer as the author and change the material type to printed music.  There are also DVDs of operas available at the Reserve Desk.

The CDs are available at the Reserve Desk (1st floor, north entrance), and may be checked out for seven days. Some of the CDs come with booklets. To locate a CD by a specific composer, search the Library Catalog by doing an advanced keyword search and searching by the composer's last name. Limit the search by selecting "Material Type" and choosing "Music CD." This will provide a list of CDs that contain the composer's works.

Another database to try when looking for a composer's music is Naxos Music Library. For instruction on usage, try the YouTube on Naxos.

Where Would I Find the Current Critical Response to the Composer

General criticisms can be located in books or journal articles. For full-length criticisms in books, do a subject search on the composer’s last name on the Library Catalog.

For journal articles, try the following:

Academic Search Premier
Humanities Fulltext
Music Index  

To use the electronic indexes from a remote site, you will be prompted for your NT userid and password.

Where Would I Find Information on the Internet?

For a generic search engine, try Google. A good listing of search engines may be found at the library's Search Engine Page.  Check the library Music  page, also. 

Is There a Way to Acquire Materials not Available at NSU? 

Interlibrary Loan can be used to borrow books and to get copies of journal articles.  Please allow 2-3 weeks for this service. Materials may be requested using ILLiad.

Where can I Locate an M.L.A. Style Manual?

The M.L.A. Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is located on the first floor at the call number, Ref. LB 2369.G53. The Modern Language Association and the Purdue OWL provide instruction on MLA. Use the Tutorial on Citations and Plagiarism For additional help in citing sources,
try KnightCite Bibliography Machine.

How do I find these Library Resources through the Web?

Many of the resources listed above are available throug the John Vaughan Library Home Page. Through the use of EZProxy software, these resources may be used from any location.  From off-campus, use your NT password and userid.

    SophiaBeverley Threatt, MLS, MA
    Instructor of Library Services
    Languages and Literature and Communication, Art, & Theatre
    Resource Coordinator
    (918) 444-3267

Page maintained by: SB Threatt
Last Updated: 08/07/2012