English 2100 Writing About Literature: God, History, and the Imagination of Writers
Some research tricks
- Clarify your questions and the types of information you need to answer them.
- Think about where types of information are typically published.
- Use a variety of words: nature, environment, landscape, ecology.
- Use truncation to find word variants: ecolog* = ecology, ecologic, ecologist, etc.
- Use both broad and narrow terms.
- Examine records for subject headings or descriptors.
- Put OR between words to search for more.
- Put AND between words to narrow your results.
- Search authors with surname first for more precision.
- LION Reference includes a selection of literary reference works.
- The Gale Virtual Reference Library provides specialized online encyclopedias for background information.
- Oxford Reference Online Premier provides concise reference sources.
- Check the Oxford English Dictionary for etymologies and history of words.
- The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism.
- The MERLIN catalog shows materials in the MU Libraries.
- The MOBIUS catalog shows materials from Missouri academic libraries.
- WorldCat shows materials from many libraries worldwide.
- Google Book Search searches the full text of many books. If you can't download the full text, look for a link to Find in a Library on the right.
Use these databases to identify articles on your topic:
- LION: Literature Online
- Choose Criticism & Reference from the sidebar.
- Choose Criticism to search both the MLA International Bibliography and ABELL, the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature.
- Choose Reference to search a variety of literary encyclopedias and handbooks.
- Choose Web Sites for a select collection of links
- Academic Search Premier provides the core journals in all fields.
- ATLA Religion Database indexes religious studies materials.
- Historical Abstracts covers world history 1450-present, excluding the U.S. and Canada.
- GenderWatch covers Women's Studies publications.
- JSTOR is digital storage of long runs of significant journals. Good for very detailed searching.
- Project Muse is similar to JSTOR, but offers more recent coverage.
Click on to locate a copy of the article online, in the library, or through ILL@MU.
Finding Primary Sources
- LION: Literature Online provides online texts of many English and American literary works with a search mechanism to facilitate text analysis.
From the main LION menu, choose Search Texts to search for words and phrases within a specific work or group of works. The advanced search feature allows you to define a corpus by period, literary movement, author's gender or ethnicity, and other criteria.
- ECCO: Eighteenth Century Collections Online provides the full text of works published in England in the 18th century.
- The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) lists works of all sorts published prior to 1800 in English, many of which we have on microfilm. The MERLIN Catalog includes records for the titles held by MU and we can borrow others through ILL@MU.
- The Index to English Literary Periodicals indexes articles published in early English journals and magazines contained in the microfilm set English Literary Periodicals 1681-1914
Note: This Index is a work in progress, so you may also want to use the guide Accessing English Literary Periodicals ( SPEC-R PN5124.P4 A25 1981). See also the Chronological Listing of Periodicals by Decade.
- Through MERLIN, using the advanced search option
- limit by date
- include in your search s: sources
- include in your search s: sources and nth cent* e.g., s: sources and 16th cent* and marriage
- include in your search s: early works and nth cent* e.g., s: early works and 16th cent* and marriage
- include in your search s: personal narratives
MERLIN lists not only printed books, but also links to electronic books, and many items contained in large microfilm collections. Microforms and the equipment needed to view, print, or scan the materials are found in Special Collections. See the guide to the Microform Collection for detailed information on the microfilm sets, including some that are not analyzed in the MERLIN Catalog.
The Google Books project indexes thousands of books and allows viewing of books that are in the public domain, including most books published prior to 1925.
Finding Visual Resources
- ARTStor is an image library of over 500,000 images in all subject areas.
- British Library Images Online provides many useful images.
- Google Images can also be useful, although not as precise.