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EN 200: J18

Research Resources

For Background Information:

For Critical Articles on Literature:

For Historical / Cultural aspects, search the database, Historical Abstracts  

For Books - Biography, Criticism, History

  • Search the Catalog for books by or about your writer.
  • Then expand your search with subject linking.
  • Be sure to look at the Table of Contents and the Index.

For works by a writer, search:

  • the CBBcat by Author, typing in family name first

For Books about a writer, seach:

You can also search for general subject headings or for topics from a specific period:

For Books in libraries across the country, Search WorldCat

      How to sign up for an ILLiad account


2009 BBC production of The Turn of the Screw

Research Methods

  • Use Background sources to orient yourself, glean vocabulary for Keyword searching 
  • Look at Books for broader and deeper background, leads to scholars who discuss topics that interest you 
  • Read articles to engage with argument on particular points
  • Use the notes and bibliographies from every useful source you find to turn up more articles on your topic. For a quick video on how to look up and request articles you find cited, click here.  
  • Finally, think about what sorts of publication the information you still need might be published and stored in, and therefore where you would need to look for it.
    • Biographical?

    • Contemporary public reactions?

    • Literary analysis?

Keyword Searching --  

Experiment with synonyms

Use asterisks to search for multiple word-forms at once: sex* = sex, sexual, sexuality 

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase: "red hair"

Try searching the CBB catalog for Companion or Handbook and your keyword. Like this:  Companion  "Henry James".  

Companions and handbooks can be very helpful in getting oriented to a new area of study. 

1-minute videos on using library resources

Citations and Annotated Bibliography

MLA style for citations 

The purpose of citations

  • to show the research path followed             
  •  to provide leads for other researchers 

You need to cite when...

  • you directly quote someone else
  • you refer to another person's ideas 
  • you outline someone else's argument  

 EXAMPLE of MLA Style 

         on a Works Cited Page for an article retrieved from a database:

             Stuart, Christopher. "William Maxwell's So Long, See You Tomorrow and the Autobiographical Impulse." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, vol. 47, no. 3, 2006, pp. 261-73. MLA International Bibliography. Accessed 17 January 2013.

Thus the pattern is:

              Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. #, no. #, year, page numbers. Name of database. [doi or url. Date of access (day month year).]



​ If you have questions, don't    hesitate to contact me:    

 Karen Gillum


Individual Guides for More Information

Globe On Screen

Websites for Poetry

Henry James's Introduction to The Tempest

Requesting Books

For books at Bates, Bowdoin, or in Colby Storage:

In CBBcat, click on the CBB Request button in the record for the book you want. Then fill in your name and barcode number on the back of your Colby ID card.

To request books from WorldCatSign up for ILLiad

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