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EN 104 - Sounds of Silence: Voices of Conscience in Literature


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to the Sounds of Silence: Voices of Conscience in Literature 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.


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 titled our guide on Evaluating Websites. Please take advantage of these resources.


Reference Sources for Background Information

Electronic Reference Materials

Use the following electronic reference materials instead of wikipedia; these resources are full of quality information and are as easy to use as wikipedia.

The following resources are restricted to the Saint Anselm College community.

Credo Reference

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

Literature Resource Center

Oxford Reference Online (ORO)

Print Reference Materials

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.

Critical Survey of Literary Theory
     Ref PN45 .C74

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

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

Dictionary of Literary Terms
     Ref PN41 .C83

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

Encyclopedia of American Poetry
     Ref PS316 .E53

Encyclopedia of Film
     Ref PN1993.45 .G65

Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century
     Ref PN771 .E5

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

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 (4 volumes)
     Ref PM3503 .P586


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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 these search techniques:

  • AND - use AND to link together search topics (Elie Wiesel AND silence)
  • OR - use OR to link together synonyms or like concepts (holocaust literature or holocaust fiction)
  • *  - use truncation to pull up the root of a word with variant endings (Type critic* 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: "moral responsibility" to look for the exact phrase of: moral responsibility)

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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 two 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 Shirley Jackson 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:

  • moral responsibility AND literature
  • (silence or guilt) and German literature
  • "lesson before dying" and (critic* or analysis)

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 searching the online journal databases 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).

Search Multiple Databases at Once

Use CrossSearch as a starting point for your research, after you run a search use the results by source feature to see what databases are producing relevant results - then go directly to those databases to use their advance search features.

With CrossSearch you can search databases within a specific subject area or you can pick and choose what databases you would like to search. For this class you will want to start with the English subject search but depending on your topic you may want to move on to other subject searches. For tips on using CrossSearch, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins.; includes audio).

Core English Research Databases

Literature Resource Center
Use this database as an introductory resource for locating biographical information on authors, as well as bibliographies, plot summaries, and literary criticism of their works.

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.

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

If you are searching a topic outside the scope of literary criticism consult Geisel's databases by subject page. Click on the subject area that you are researching, you will then be brought to a list of databases that will help you perform research in that discipline. If you need assistance in identifying a useful database please contact a reference librarian.

Project MUSE
Use Project Muse 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.

JSTOR is an interdisciplinary database that contains 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.


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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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