English - Short Stories

This guide focuses on searching for information about short stories, biographies, and short story collections. Depending on your research assignment's requirements, you may wish to include a variety of resources, such as books, eBooks, periodicals, and websites to support your chosen topic. Please note: for remote access to search databases, you may be prompted for your NSU userID and password.

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EBSCOhost (Finding information using EBSCOhost databases - Vendor tutorial)

Library Books:

Use the Library Discovery system to search for books that provide biographical information, criticisms, and collections of short stories.

Biographical information:
Print books and eBooks are available that provide a brief biographical overview of an author. Full-length biographies on many short story writers may be found through the  Library Discovery system by doing a subject search on the writer's last name or search in the EBSCOhost eBook Collection.  Some authors write in multiple genres, such as drama, fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. (Example author: John Updike) An index to biographical sources is the Biography and Genealogy Master Index. This index will list sources providing biographical information about authors. Use the database WorldCat (OCLC) to search for books in other libraries in addition to NSU libraries.

Many print and online sources contain biographies and criticisms of short story writers. Examples of sources are listed below:
American Authors, 1600-1900: A Biographical Dictionary (Ref. PS21.K8)
A Companion to American Fiction, 1865-1914 (PS377.C665)
British Authors Before 1800 (Ref. PR105.K9)
British Authors of the Nineteenth Century (Ref. PR451.K8)
The Contemporary American Short-Story Cycle: The Ethnic Resonance of Genre (PS374.S5 N34)
Contemporary Authors (Ref. PN 451.C58)
Dictionary of Literary Biography (Ref. PN451.D32)
Introduction to Literary Context: American Short Fiction (PS374.S5 I587) For the eBook, search in Salem Press Titles.
Masterplots, 4th edition (Ref. PN44 .M33) For the eBook, search in Salem Press Titles.
Masterplots II: American Fiction Series (Ref. PS373.M37)
Masterplots II: Short Story Series (Ref. PN3326.M27)
Twentieth Century Authors (Ref. PN771.K86)
The Victorian Short Story: Development and Triumph of a Literary Genre (PR829.O7)
Something About the Author (Ref. PN451.S6) - print v.1 - v.232 (1971-2012) biographical-young adult literature

Example author:
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 Discovery. (i.e. Updike, John or Porter, Katherine Anne or Chopin, Kate or Gilman Charlotte Perkins, or Poe, Edgar Allan)

Online reference sources:
Online reference books that contain biographies are available through several databases:
Literature Resource Center (biographies, criticisms, and reviews)
Something About the Author SATA (biographical - young adult literature)
Biography and Genealogy Master Index (lists sources to locate information about an author)
Salem Press Titles (selected literature)

Literary criticism:
The Contemporary American Short-Story Cycle: The Ethnic Resonance of Genre (PS374.S5 N34)
Introduction to Literary Context (PS374.S5 I587) See online version via Salem Press Titles
Scribbling Women and the Short Story Form: Approaches by American and British Women Writers (PS374.S5 S37)
Sharing Secrets: Nineteenth Century Women's Relations in the Short Story (PS374.W6 P35)
Short Fiction Criticism: A Checklist of Interpretation Since 1925 of Stories and Novelettes (American, British, Continental) 1800-1958 (PN3373.T5)
Critical Insights: Contemporary Immigrant Short Fiction (PS508.I45 C668) See online version via Salem Press Titles

Short story - indexes:
Short Story Index (Ref. PN3373.C62)
Short Story Index: An Index to Stories in Collections and Periodicals (Ref. PN3373.C62)
Twentieth Century Short Story Explication (Ref. PN 3373.W33)
Twentieth Century Short Story Explication: With Checklists of Books and Journals Used (Ref. PN3373.W35)

Online sources:
For a quick overview to the short story use Literature Resource Center (search by Name of Work)
The Salem Press Titles database offers selected literature by many authors, and the accompanying print versions are in the NSU library collections at John Vaughan Library or the Broken Arrow campus library. For the online version, see the following Critical Surveys series and Introduction to Literary Context series through Salem Press Titles, example titles:
Critical Survey of Short Fiction: American Writers
Critical Survey of Short Fiction: British, Irish & Commonwealth Writers
Critical Survey of Short Fiction: European Writers
Critical Survey of Short Fiction: Topical Essays
Critical Survey of Short Fiction: World Writers
Critical Survey of Short Fiction: Cumulative Indexes

Introduction to Literary Context: American Short Fiction
Introduction to Literary Context: English Literature
Introduction to Literary Context: World Literature

Short story collections:

For a collection of stories by a specific writer, do an author search through the Library Discovery system. Example author: Joyce Carol Oates, Heat and Other Stories (PS3565.A8 H43) or Alice Munro, Selected Stories (PR9199.3.M8 A6)

The Best American Short Stories of the Century (PS648.S5 B4)
American Voices: Best Short Fiction by Contemporary Authors (PS648.S5 A56)
Pow Wow: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience: Short Fiction from Then to Now (PS647.E85 P68)
The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (PS648.S5 O94)
The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories (PR1309.D4 O94)
The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories (PR1309.S3 O97)


Periodicals will include articles about the author, general criticism, and some articles about specific short stories. Do a Library Discovery search for these titles and for online versions, select among the databases listed in the record.
American Literature (online)
Comparative Literature (onine)
Early Modern Literary Studies (online)
English Journal (Print - see Browsing area on the first floor)
Explicator (online)
Journal of the Short Story in English (online)
Modern Fiction Studies (Print - see Browsing area on the first floor)
Renascence (online)
StoryQuarterly (online) Stories online and see Submissions for the Annual Fiction and the Annual Nonfiction Contests.
Studies in Short Fiction (online)
Texas Studies in Literature and Language (online)

Articles and Databases:

For remote access to search databases, you may be prompted for your NSU userID and password. From the NSU Libraries' home page underneath the Research section located on the left side of the page click on the link "Articles and Databases." This displays a listing of databases from general to those listed by subject field or discipline. Or try the Database A-Z, which lists them in alphabetical order. If uncertain about which database to use, begin by choosing a general database like Academic Search Premier or Ask a Librarian for assistance. Review some of the Library Tutorials listed at the beginning of this page for searching tips. For additional assistance after selecting a database, review the database Help screens for suggestions in using the database effectively. To locate only full-text articles, look for the full-text limiter and check the box. For articles that are not available in full-text format in our print collections or online through our databases, use the InterLibrary Loan service.

For descriptions of the EBSCO databases, see EBSCOhost. You may also select and search multiple EBSCO databases simultaneously. Some journals contain biographical content and criticism articles. For biographical information, search by author's name (ex: Porter, Katherine Anne and biography); search by author's name and title of story for articles. If the title is phrasal, such as "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" by Katherine Anne Porter, place the title inside quotation marks. In the database search box, type: Porter and "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall " to locate information about this story.

When using the database Literature Resource Center, choose the option Person-By or About and enter the author's name and limit the content type to biographies. For the information about a particular work or title, choose the option Name of Work and enter the title of the short story.

Example databases include the following:
Academic Search Premier (general database, articles, books, and reviews)
EBSCOhost eBook Collection (ebooks)
Humanities Full Text (journals for humanities)
Literature Resource Center (biographical, reviews, criticisms)
MLA International Bibliography (indexes journal articles, book chapters, and dissertations in literature and languages)
OmniFile Full Text Mega (general database)
Salem Press Titles (selected literature)
Something About the Author SATA (biographical - young adult literature)
WorldCat (OCLC) - (materials available in libraries worldwide)


American Authors, by Donna M. Campbell of Washington State University
American Literature Short Story Library (
Classic Short Stories (
The Mississippi Writers Page (

MLA image  APA image

MLA (8th) Citation Style/ APA Citation Style:

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 6th edition print version is located in the Reference section, call number BF 76.7.P83. Or search by title in the Library Discovery system for additional locations of these style manuals. For assistance with writing and how to cite sources, the John Vaughan Library offers personal assistance at the Citation Station (Spring and Fall semesters). Contact the Information Desk at 918-444-3235 for dates and times. Also, contact the Writing Center for writing and citation help.


Contact the Subject Librarian for Languages and Literature:
NSU-John Vaughan Library
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Languages and Literature

Page maintained by: Sophia
Update: 07/2018