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COMP111: Dr. Diamond-Amorello: Research Report

Welcome to this research guide that I created just for your class!

Browse the Bucks Library Catalog

Quick Catalog Search

Think of an author you like.  Type the name into the search box and choose "author" from the dropdown menu.  You'll get a list of books in the Library written by that author.


As a:

Use the Internet to Find Lists and Descriptions of Authors' Works

Here are some shortcuts for finding reliable information on the Web:

  • Try ipl2.  This is a collection of links to reliable websites evaluated and chosen by librarians. Search for some favorite authors, or try searching on more general terms like "literature," "poetry," or "drama."
  • Limit yourself to US college and university websites using Google Advanced Search.  On the Advanced Search page, type your search terms into the top box and type .edu into the bottom box.


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:


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

Your Librarian

Project Muse: Search Additional Ebooks

Search Project MUSE®