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EN 271: Tips for Searching


To find collections of essays using MLA Bibliography, refer to the illustration below.
  • First, change the search parameters on the boxes at the top of the screen so that you are searching for the author as Subject,
  • add another keyword in a different box if you wish, and in the case of Borges,
  • select Language of Publication from the menu of another box and enter English.
  • Then use the date bar to limit results to 1980 on, and check the box for Book article under Source Types
You'll notice that the records for these articles will give the article title, name of its author, then say IN and proceed with information on the editor(s) and title of the book housing the article (boxed in yellow below).
Copy the title of the book and search for it in CBBcat. If it does not appear, click on the icon to the right for NExpress.


When you search CBBcat, use the hot-linked subject headings in records to lead to lists of more books on the same subject.

From the list of subjects, click on one --

to browse records of books on these subjects.



When you have time to wait a week or so for some of your books, use WorldCat to extend your search to libraries all over the country. We can even get scans of parts of books from libraries overseas.

From the libraries' homepage, select the tab Books and More, check the circle for WorldCat in the blue box, then the button

Enter search terms for keyword searching. Since you have seen  records in CBBcat with subject headings of the form: author Criticism and Interpretation, use these terms initially to begin your search for criticism of Poe or Borges, or any other writer. Look at the panel on the left to see what parameters might be useful in limiting your results. Choosing Print Books, for instance, means you won't waste time looking at eBooks you will not be able to borrow.  Changing the sort from the default Relevance to Date Newest First is also often helpful.



Select a book by clicking on the title. In the record for the book, click the button Request through ILLiad@Colby. Sign into the ILLiad system with your Colby username and password. The request form should fill in automatically - just click Submit at the bottom.



  • Use quotes to glue a phrase together, e.g., "Gothic fiction"
  • Use an asterisk as a wild card to cover word variations, e.g., Liter* (for Literature, Literary)
  • Broaden your search by using OR with parentheses, e.g., (Mansion OR Chamber). Results can contain either term.
  • Narrow your search by using AND, e.g., fantasy AND novel. Results must contain both terms.
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