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EN 104 - "The Dogs of War!" War and Conflict in Literature


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to the Dogs of War course. The guide is meant as a starting point for your research. For further research assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in Geisel Library.

Depending on your topic you may need to consult other Geisel Library subject and course guides.

Shakespeare Subject Guide
Geisel Library has a tremendous amount of information related to Shakespeare and
Henry V. Please take a look at this subject guide for assistance in locating research specific to Henry V.

American Civil War Literature EN104 Course Guide
A library course guide has been created for EN104 American Civil War Literature. Please take advantage of this resource if your research focuses on American Civil War literature.


Research Basics

The reference librarians have created a group of Web pages named Research Help to help teach you the basics of library research and to introduce you to Geisel Library. On the Research Help pages, you will find a guide on Research Basics and a helpful guide on Evaluating Web Resources. Please take advantage of these resources.


Reference Sources for Background Information

All of the titles listed below are located in Geisel Library's reference collection which is located on the first floor of the library next to the reference desk. Some titles have online equivalents; for those titles appearing in red, click on the title to access the electronic version.

General Reference Resources

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
Find overviews on a wide variety of topics by searching this online encyclopedia. This is a good resource for obtaining background information on authors and for brainstorming keywords that represent your topic.

Oxford Reference Online
This database enables you to search within many of Oxford's highly-regarded reference works in the fields of literature and history, including the Oxford Companion to American Literature. This is a good place to get basic background information on an author or literary movement.

Literary Terms, Theory, and Themes

Critical Survey of Literary Theory
     Ref PN45 .C74 1988

Dictionary of Literary Terms
     Ref PN41 .C83

Dictionary of Literary Themes and Motifs (2 Volumes)
     Ref PN43 .D48

Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory
     Ref PN44.5 .H37 1998

Literary Criticism Resources

Literature Resource Center
This database combines literary databases containing biographical information with bibliographic listings of authors' works, plot summaries, and literary criticism for 90,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists and other writers. This resource also provides the full text of articles from more than 100 literary journals and has links to author's official web sites.

American Short-Fiction Criticism and Scholarship, 1959-1977: A Checklist
     Ref PS374 S5W4

American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies (13 volumes, 1974-98)
     Ref PS129 .A55

Articles on American Literature (3 volumes)
     Ref PS88 .A77

Critical Survey of Short Fiction (7 volumes)
     Ref PN3373 .C7

Critical Survey of Long Fiction (8 volumes)
     Ref PN3451 .C7

Critical Temper: A Survey of Modern Criticism on English and American Literature from the Beginnings to the Twentieth Century (4 volumes)
     Ref PR83.C764

Facts on File Companion to the American Short Story
     Ref PS374.S5 F33

Literary Criticism Series
     Contemporary Literary Criticism (Ref PN94 .C65)
     Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism (Ref PN761 .N56)
     Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (Ref PN94 .T83)
To find out the volumes in which your author or literary work are covered, use the Gale Literary Index.

Popular World Fiction 1900-Present (4 volumes)
     Ref PN3503.P586

Twentieth-Century Short Story Explication
     Ref PN3373 .W33

History Resources

Dictionary of American History
     Ref E174 .D52 2003

Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century
     Ref E169.1 E626


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Search Tips

To search the library catalogs and databases listed below you will need to use Boolean operators (ANDs and ORs), truncation, and quotation marks to pull up books and articles on your topic. Here is a brief overview of how to use Boolean operators and truncation:

  • AND - use AND to link together search topics (Henry V AND analysis)
  • OR - use OR to link together synonyms or like concepts (Wilfred Owen OR Siegfried Sassoon)
  • * - use truncation to pull up the root of a word with variant endings (Type crit* to pull up items with the words critic, criticism, critical, etc.)
  • Quotation marks - When performing keyword searches use quotation marks to search for your keywords as an exact phrase (Type: "World War I" to look for the exact phrase of: World War I. If you do not enclose your phrase with quotes the catalog will look for the term World and War and I as separate words throughout the entire catalog record)


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Find Books/Secondary Sources

Search the Geisel Library Catalog to locate books, government documents and web materials on your topic. There are 2 main ways to search the library catalog, by subject heading or by keyword. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, it is important therefore to know the best time to use each method.

Subject Headings Searches

Subject headings are keywords that are assigned to books to capture the item's key subject matter and themes. Use subject headings to look for books on broad concepts such as criticism on Henry V or books on war poetry.

Examples of Subject Headings relevant to this course include:

Keyword Searches

Keyword Searches work best if you are researching a narrow concept or if you have an author or title that you would like criticism on. Keyword searches will look for your search term(s) in the citation, subject headings, and chapter titles (if available). Many books on literary criticism have chapters on specific authors or works, this search method will pull up those materials.

Examples of Keyword Searches relevant to this course include:

  • American Civil War and poetry
  • War and poetry or literature
  • Shakespeare and Henry V and interpretation
  • Elie Wiesel and crit* or analysis
  • Yeats and independence or nationalism

If you have searched the Geisel Library Catalog but could not locate a book on your topic try searching WorldCat, a database that allows you to search the collections of libraries throughout the United States. If you find a book that you want you can request it through interlibrary loan (ILL) by clicking on the ILL icon in the book's catalog record.


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Find Journal Articles

When examining your search results you may come across the WebBridge  icon. This icon means that the full text is not available in the database you are currently searching. To locate the full text, simply click on the icon to determine whether the journal is available in Geisel Library or in another electronic database. If the article is not available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Articles requested via ILL will be delivered to your college email address in approximately 3-7 business days. To learn how to use WebBridge, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins; includes audio).

Core English Research Databases

Literature Resource Center
Find biographical information on authors, as well as bibliographies, plot summaries, and literary criticism of their works. This resource also provides the full text of articles from more than 100 literary journals.

MLA International Bibliography
Produced by the Modern Language Association of America, this electronic index consists of bibliographic records pertaining to literature, language, linguistics, and folklore. (1963–present)

Academic Search Premier
Gain access to full-text as well as indexing and abstracting for a wide range of journal titles covering business, social sciences, humanities, general science, and education.

Additional Research Databases

The databases listed below are only a sampling of the electronic databases that will help you perform research for this course. What database you should use will be determined by what topic you are researching. For assistance in determining what resource would be best for your topic please consult the Article Databases page or ask a librarian.

America: History and Life
Use this database to locate abstracts to journal articles, book/media reviews, and dissertations focusing on United States and Canadian history.

Historical Abstracts
Provides abstracts to journal articles, books, and dissertations covering world history from 1450 to the present (excluding North America).

Project MUSE
Project MUSE provides full text access to more than 200 journals in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and hard sciences. As an interdisciplinary database you will be able to pull up research on your topic from a variety of different disciplines. Titles of interest to this course include: Contemporary Literature, Comparative Literature Studies, and the Journal of Modern Literature.

Geisel Library subscribes to four JSTOR collections: Arts & Sciences I, II, III and Biological Sciences. These are large collections of the full text of back issues to major journals in the humanities and social sciences, including Nineteenth-Century Literature, American Literature, and American Literary History. Coverage is generally from the beginning of publication to within 5 years of the current issue.


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Selected Internet Resources

Searching the Internet can yield a vast amount of information, but in terms of quality and reliability, your results may be uneven at best. The ease and speed with which individuals can publish information on the web, regardless of accuracy or quality makes it imperative that when doing research on the web you know how to evaluate the information you find. To learn more, see our guide on Evaluating Websites.

If when searching the Internet, you locate references to books or articles that you would like to view please check with a reference librarian to see if the items can be located in Geisel Library's print or electronic collection or through Interlibrary Loan.

Electronic Book Collections

Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg allows you to read digitized versions of novels on its website. Search by author, title, or genre to locate a book of your choosing. To search by genre, click the Bookshelf link on the left side of the screen.

Google Book Search
Google Books also lets you read digitized books on its website. To search for full text versions of works:

By selecting Full View you are limiting your search to only those books that are available in full text in the Google Books collection. Full View books are limited to those works that are no longer copyright protected.


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Citing Sources

See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.


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