English 1213 Dr. Enright--Short Stories

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.

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
John Vaughan Library Physical Overview Tutorial

How can I find biographical/critical information about my author?

An index to many biographical sources is Biography and Genealogy Master Index. This index will list sources that contain biographical information about authors. These sources will provide an overview of the lives and works of authors.
Many online and print reference sources also contain biographies and criticisms of short story writers. Examples of sources are listed below:

American Authors, 1600-1900: A Biographical Dictionary (Ref. PS 21.K8)
British Authors Before 1800 (Ref. PR 105.K9)
British Authors of the Nineteenth Century (Ref. PR 451.K8)
Contemporary Authors (Ref. PN 451.C58)
Dictionary of Literary Biography (Ref. PN 451.D32)
Literature Resource Center
Twentieth Century Authors (Ref. PN 771.K86)

For more in-depth general critical information or biographical information about an author, do a subject search on the author's last name using the Library Catalog  The Humanities Index through OmniFile or Academic Search Premier would also be useful in locating articles.

How can I find journals on my topic?

Periodicals will include articles about the author, general criticism, and some articles about specific short stories. Indexes to consult include the following:

Academic Search Premier
Humanities Index

M.L.A. Bibliography

Students are provided a 400 page print limit in the library at the start of each semester. If a student runs out of pages, additional pages may be purchased at the circulation desk for $5.00 for 100 pages or 5 cents per page.

How do I acquire materials not available at the John Vaughan Library (NSU)?

Interlibrary Loan is available for obtaining books and copies of articles from other libraries.  Allow approximately two weeks for interlibrary loan materials.

How do I find criticism on a specific short story?

For a quick overview to the short story use Literature Resource Center. For more in-depth criticism, use Twentieth Century Short Story Explication (Ref. PN 3373.W33).

Where can I locate information on the Web?

Try the library's Search Engine page. Start with Google. Try the English Resources Web Page.

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, Ready Ref. LB 2369.G53.  Also, try the Purdue OWL instruction on MLA. 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