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EN 200 B Foundations of Literary Studies (Stubbs): Minding the Gap - Research Resources

Find Scholarly Articles in Databases

Articles not available in full-text? Request through ILLiad interlibrary loan.

Look for Request from ILLiad or Request from another library links when a database advices you that full-text is not available.

Scholary Journals and Refining your Search

Databases can contain different types of material (articles, books, book reviews, book chapters, etc.). Many Colby assignments require articles from PEER-REVIEWED SCHOLARLY JOURNALS. These articles:

  • - report original research in a specific discipline
  • - cite the work of others using in-text citations, notes and bibliographies
  • - are vetted by other scholar experts in the field

Students may also be encouraged to use chapters (aka "book articles) in scholarly books or to prioritize recent scholarship.

Look for options in databases to FILTER or REFINE or SORT your results to meet these needs.


Search Strategies


In library catalogs and many databases, keyword searches only look for EXACT matches. A search using one form of a word may not find derivatives. A search of a singular noun, may not find results that only use the plural form.

An ASTERISK is a wild card that stands in for different endings of a word. ideal* = ideal, ideals, idealism, idealistic

Use QUOTATION MARKS to glue together words in phrases, titles or an author's name. "stream of consciousness"

Use OR phrases (in parentheses or within a search row) to cover possible synonyms. (jester OR fool)

Use AND phrases to narrow and focus a search. mother* AND "toni morrison"


Subject searches take you to books that have been tagged as being about that person or subject. Look for SUBJECT HEADINGS in item records found using a keyword search. Use search box drop-down menus to change a keyword search to a subject search (SU or DE).

To find subject headings for an author, do a Subject Search using the author’s name (last name first): Eliot, George (Select Subject from first drop-down option in CBBcat.)


Continue to gather new search terms by looking at the words scholars use in their articles and books. Do multiple searches with different combinations of words.


Compare. Read carefully. Re-read. Choose the best sources for your need.

Following a Citation Trail

Check the works cited, notes, references and bibliographies of every relevant article or book. You may discover a book or article perfect for your topic.

sample citations  Bibliography, Hafley, James Robert, The Glass Roof: Virgina Woolf as a Novelist, UC Press, 1954.

Find Books in our Catalog

CBBcat, the library catalog, logo image

Search for print books and e-books (and other media) in our library catalog.

A book of literary criticism can be by a single author or can be an edited anthology with chapters ("book articles") on different aspects of the book's general theme.

To identify SCHOLARLY BOOKS, investigate/examine the:

  • author (university affiliation, research specialty)
  • publisher (academic or university press)
  • writing style & intended audience
  • arguments, analysis, study methodology
  • notes, references, bibliography

PRINT: Look at the location and call number. Most Colby owned books related to literature can be found on the two bottom floors of the Miller Library book stacks. Order books from Bates, Bowdoin and the Colby Annex by clicking CBB Request in an item record.

DIGITAL: look for a small circular red E in the icons to the left of your results . .

Or use the drop-downs on the CBBcat search page, for a more precise search.

The Library of Congress Classification system (LCC) is used to catalog our books. Literature and literary criticism call numbers start with a P.  PQ French and PR English are shelved in the Miller bookstacks on S2 (half-level down from main floor). PS American literature is on the very bottom floor (S1).

Aimé Césaire PQ3949.C44

Shakespeare's Tempest PR2833

Tempest Concordance PR2892.O84 T45

MLA Citation Help

Please don't hesitate to ask any of the librarians for citation assistance!

Reference & Contextual Information

  • Provides summaries and overviews
  • Helps you identify search terms
  • Allows topic exploration
  • Illuminates word meanings and etymologies

side view of the marbled pages of a closed dictionary with indented finger holds for different letters Dictionary, Mike Licht, Flickr (CC by 2.0)

  Girl reading a book, Freestocks, Flickr (CC0 1.0)


OneSearch searches multiple resources at once. Use for very precise searches:

  • Finding a specific article
  • Finding book chapters on a topic
  • Finding book reviews

For best results, use limiters:  field drop-downs (Title, Publication Title), content type (articles, book chapters, book reviews), etc.

For topical searches, first consult CBBcat and individual databases.

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