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COMP111: Professor Luciano: Start Here

Use this guide for research assistance!

Welcome to Your LibGuide!

Text for Feline Video Above

Hello students! Welcome to your LibGuide. Margaret the Librarian asked me to show you around.

  • In this left column, you will see general information about research and a widget for finding books in the library.
  • In the middle column you'll find information about the library's databases where you will find most of the information for your paper.
  • In the right column you'll see ways to get help.

Look up near the top for the blue tab that says "Library Lingo Decoder." Find explanations of library terms there.

Don't hesitate to contact Margaret for help!

NEW Catalog Search Box

Quick Catalog Search

   Advanced Search

Project Muse: Search Additional Ebooks

Search Project MUSE®

How to Create an EBSCOhost Account

Here's a tip that should help you organize your research in EBSCOhost: set up your own account and you will be able to save articles and access them whenever you are logged in. Here's a quick video to show you how to do that:

Salem Literature ebooks

Check out this quick video for tips on how to find literary criticism in Salem Literature, a collection of ebooks that can be found in our list of databases.


These library databases are useful for finding journal articles on literary subjects:

EBSCOhost Tutoral

Please watch this up-to-date video tutorial to learn more about EBSCOhost and score some great tips on using it effectively.

Finding Literature Criticism in EBSCO

Streamline your research by watching this video where I demonstrate exactly how to search for scholarly literature criticism articles in EBSCOhost. Pay particular attention to what I type into the boxes on the search screen: this is where most students have questions. I'll be looking for information on a short story by Bobbie Ann Mason entitled "Shiloh," but you can use this strategy for any kind of literature.

Margaret's Secret Formula for Journal Article Finding

For your convenience, here it is in black and blue:

The main databases you want to use are EBSCOhost (Academic Search Elite and MLA  Int'l Bibliography), LION, JSTOR, and maybe Salem Literature. I recommend that you start with EBSCO because you can most easily refine your search there. Here's my famous strategy for Literature Criticism Seconday Source finding:

1. Choose Academic Search Elite and MLA Int'l Bibliography from the first list and click on continue,

2. The search screen has three empty boxes. Make them look like this:

Angelou, Maya (Make. Sure. You. Spell. Her. Name. Correctly.)

AND "caged bird" (or other distinctive words from another title. if there are more than one, put them in quotes to keep them together)

AND criticism

3. Ignore the drop-down boxes to the right of the formerly empty boxes. If you leave them alone you will be doing a Googlish keyword search and that is what we want.

4. Ignore most of the stuff beneath the thick horizontal green line. Check the boxes next to Full-text Only and Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals to make sure your results come from the appropriate sources.

5. Click SEARCH and you should get a nice list of stuff. Click on the title for more info about the article including other keywords you could use and a short abstract or summary (this is not the article and can't be used as a source). Click on PDF Full-Text or HTML Full-Text to see and read the actual article.

6. Use this same strategy or a variation of it for the other databases I mentioned. Exceptions:

  • When you search LION (Literature Online Reference Edition), you should click the word 'Criticism' on the upper left of the first page. This will bring you to the correct screen and you do not have to type the actual word 'criticism' as you did in EBSCO. Type your author, last name, first and your distinctive keyword(s) where prompted in the empty boxes.
  • Salem Literature is more like a collection of ebooks with collected secondary sources (literature criticism). Type in only your author's name to see if they are included, and if you get lots of results yell "Eureka!" and type a distinctive keyword in the empty boxes to the left to narrow your search.

Good luck.


Your Librarian

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Accessing the Databases from Off-campus Locations

It is not unusual for students to have problems getting access to the library databases. Please don't despair! Read the information at this link, and if you still have problems, call our Technology Learning Center (TLC) at 215-497-8754.

Try searching in JSTOR, too