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Spring 2020 COMP 111 Bates: Home


Welcome to my guide to help you conduct research, find articles and complete Prof. Bate's research paper assignment on Beloved. 

I customized this guide to show you the resources you can use online, anywhere, anytime. 

Before you jump into searching for articles or ebooks, do the following:

Brainstorm! Think about your topic and the people, places, ideas related to your topic. Write down all the words and phrases you identified in your brainstorming process. This list will help you when you do research. You can use this list as a source of keywords. 


Accessing Databases from off campus or your own device

You can get into the library databases from off campus with your Bucks UserID and Password. If you experience difficulties, contact the HelpDesk 215-497-8754 or 215-968-8191.

EBSCOhost Tutoral

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

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.


Try Salem Literature, a Collection of Ebooks

Salem Literature is a collection of ebooks about literature criticism. Not all authors and works are covered here, but if your selected writer is, you'll find a plethora of good, scholarly information. Watch this quick video to learn how to search this collection.

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.

The Gale Print Literature Criticism Sources

The publisher Gale has been on top of literary criticism for decades with these wonderful volumes that compile excerpts from scholarly literary crticism articles by century and by genre. Librarian Brian Johnstone shows us in this video how to use the print versions of these tools (still in the library on the Newtown campus), but now we also have access to them online! Look for Literature Criticism Online in the box above. Professor Bruck and I believe that Nineteenth Century Literary CriticismTwentieth Century Literary Criticism, and Contemporary Authors would be the most helpful for you.

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Interlibrary Loan (request books or journal articles from other libraries)

When books are not available at BCCC you can use our Intelibrary Loan service (ILL). Complete the form below and wait for our notification when the book arrives.