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English Research Guide: English 102

This research guide features resources and strategies for finding information and conducting research related to English.

English 102

Literary Criticism Research Project

 Literary Research with Scholarly Journals

Sources of information for your research paper will be found in books or scholarly journals. Articles from these journals are gathered into databases and indexed for your retrieval. To make this information most accessible, the library has organized the databases into specific subject areas.

Databases for critical literary research


Databases for literary criticism are housed under LITERARY TEXTS AND CRITICISM. The path to these databases is as follows:

On the main library page - on the right side choose BROWSE ALL DATABASES.

Click on the DATABASES page.

Click on the arrow next to ALL SUBJECTS.


Critical Analysis

The following databases are excellent resources to use for a critical paper.

Name of Database



Gale Literature

Gale Literature will search the literary databases provided by the GALE company including Literature Criticism Online and Literature Resource Center.

Cambridge Companions

Cambridge Companions are edited collections of essays, written by leading experts, offering introductions to major writers, artists, philosophers, topics, and period


Provides full text electronic access to back issues of over 1,000 core journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences

Lives of Literature on JSTOR

Includes articles from academic journals covering writers and core literary movements.

Magill on Literature Plus (EBSCO)

Full text articles on authors worldwide. Also contains critical analyses and brief plot summaries of the most studied works in the history of literature

Project MUSE

Project MUSE provides full-text access to a number of high-quality humanities and social sciences journals from many scholarly publishers.

Scribner Writers Online (GALE)

Contains biographical information and critical reviews of authors of literature for children and young adults.

Twaynes Authors Online

Critical introductions to the lives and works of major writers of the world, including close analysis of key work


Credo Reference

Get content from hundreds of reference books covering every major subject. There are over 3 million entries. The content is enriched by a network of cross-reference links that cut across topics and titles. Path to database: COLLECTIONS- DATABASES- BROWSE BY LETTER- THE LETTER C

The Literary Encyclopedia

Integrates current knowledge of literature and culture and with an understanding of historical contexts and connections.

Finding and Choosing Books

  1. If looking for books, remember that there are not always entire books dedicated to a single work. Expand your search options by looking for a book about the author or the type of work or the literary time period. Then use the table of contents or index to see if your piece is included.
  2. The subjects assigned to materials in the library catalog are part of a  formal “controlled vocabulary”.  As an example, terms assigned to Robert Frost include:

                        Frost, Robert, 1874-1963

                        American poetry – 20th century – History and criticism

  1. When searching for authors, type the last name first. Choose “subject”.
  2. Start with a broad simple search (ex: author's name). Use additional terms to narrow result if needed (ex: "History and criticism" or "Analysis").


Finding and Choosing Articles


Databases are provided by different companies and their search pages will not all look the same, however they operate on the same basic principles.

All research involves searching keywords, phrases or concepts in appropriate databases.

  • Fewer words are  usually better when selecting keywords to search
    • When possible, use single words instead of phrases or sentences.
    • If short phrases are necessary enclose them in quotation marks.
  • If searching for titles of works enclose the entire title in quotation marks.
    • If titles are not enclosed in quotation marks, the database will search for the words individually.
    • Ex: "Hills like White Elephants" - If this title is not in quotation marks, articles about hills, and articles about elephants would be included in your result list.
  • Because many of these databases are limited to literature, they will automatically be aimed at literary criticism so it may or may not be necessary to add "history and criticism" as a subtopic.
  • If the option is provided always choose scholarly or peer-reviewed articles. "Peer-reviewed" articles are those that have been read and approved by other scholars in the author's area of expertise before being published.

Red Wheelbarrow result