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EN 104 - Masterpieces of Short Fiction (Prof. Lucas)


The following is a guide to selected sources in Geisel Library that pertain to this course's research assignment requiring consultation of library materials. All of these resources can be accessed either on campus or remotely by entering in the S number on the back of your student ID.

For further research assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in the Geisel Library. Stop by the Reference Desk in person or online at Ask a Librarian.


Research Basics

The reference librarians have created a group of Web pages named Research Help, designed 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 about evaluating your Web sources, our guide on Evaluating Websites.  Please take advantage of these resources.


Selected Reference Books

Reference books are shelved by call number in the reference stacks near the reference desk. They may not be checked out, but photocopiers are available on the lower level of the Library. Online reference books can be found in the library catalog or listed on the E-Reference Resources page.

Use reference books to find background information on your research topics. Here are some examples of Reference Encyclopedias which serve this purpose. There are many others!

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online

Encyclopedia of Psychology (multi-volume set)
     Ref BF31 .E52 2000

Encyclopedia of Religion
     Ref BL31 .E46 (print version, 16 volumes)

Encyclopedia of Sociology (multi-volume set)
     Ref HM425 .E5 2000

New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed.
     Ref BX841 .N44 (print version, 15 volumes)

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
     Ref CB9 .N49 (print version)

Oxford Reference Online


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Find Books and Book Chapters

Library Catalog
Some of the best material for your research will be found in books or book chapters. Access is via the Library Catalog. Begin your search by using keywords. Then move to subject headings supplied as indexing terms for books that look particularly interesting or relevant to you. Here are a few Keyword Examples from interesting past student research projects in other courses. Some of them illustrate search expressions which employ Boolean operators and wildcard symbols:

  • ("team sports" OR "organized sports") AND "academic achievement"
  • augustin* AND (conversion* OR transform*) AND (neoplaton* OR platon*)
  • baldwin and "another country"
  • ("mate selection" OR "mate choice") AND (toad OR salientia*)
  • "child labor" AND slavery
  • (extraterrestrials OR "alien beings") AND (catholic or church)
  • ("post traumatic" OR ptsd) AND vietnam*
  • american naturalism
  • women AND afghanistan
  • personality AND (memory OR cognition) AND (pleasant OR unpleasant)
  • health care AND ethiopia


  • Use the Boolean operator AND to combine multiple concepts, and use the Boolean operator OR to expand your search with synonyms and related terms.
  • Using the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol allows you to retrieve variant forms of a word root; for example, feminis* will return book citations containing the words "feminism" or "feminist".

And here below are some Subject Heading Examples which may direct you to relevant book materials pertaining to particular topics:

  • Baldwin, James - Criticism and interpretation
  • Child labor - Cross-cultural studies
  • Courtship in animals
  • Medical Care - Africa
  • Naturalism in literature
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 - Psychological aspects
  • Unidentified flying objects - Religious aspects
  • Women - Afghanistan - Social conditions

If you are unable to locate enough materials in the Geisel Library Catalog, repeat your search by using the collections of libraries worldwide through WorldCat. This expansive database enables you to identify relevant books owned by other colleges and have them delivered to Geisel Library for your use, via our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. Try searching on the same keywords and subject headings that you used in the library catalog. If you find a relevant book, click on the title and look for the 'Request ILL' link. Once you submit the request, the book is typically delivered to Geisel Library within 7–8 days.


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Find Journal Articles

Below is a selection of library databases that may yield useful journal articles for your research. They are arranged in alphabetical order by title. There are also several other discipline-specific databases. Here is a complete list.

Try using the same keywords that you used in the Library Catalog as noted above. Remember to use Boolean operators and wildcards (the asterisk symbol) to improve your search. Subject Headings appearing in the Catalog are not always consistent with Subject Headings assigned in journal databases.

Academic Search Premier
This database is multi-disciplinary and many of the articles are available in full-text.

America: History and Life
Use this database if your research intersects with American history.

ATLA Religion Database and
Catholic Periodical & Literature Index
Use these databases if your research question intersects with the disciplines of theology or Catholic theology.

Biological Sciences (CSA)
Use this database if your research intersects with the biological sciences.

Use this database if your research intersects with Nursing.    User Guide (PDF/64KB)

Criminal Justice Abstracts
Use this database if your research intersects with criminal justice.

Search here for full-text articles from major journals in the humanities and social sciences. Coverage is generally from the beginning of publication to within 5 years of the current issue.    User Guide

LexisNexis Academic: News
This database provides full-text access to newspaper articles, including book reviews, published in major papers such as the New York Times and Boston Globe from about 1980.

Literature Resource Center
MLA International Bibliography
These two databases provide literary criticism information. There is some duplication of materials and each has advantages and disadvantages pertaining to their scope and search platforms.    Literature Resource Center User Guide

New York Times
The full-text of the New York Times can assist you with determining the news and cultural interest at the time that stories were written.

Philosopher's Index
Use this database if your research intersects with the disciplines of philosophy or moral decisions.

Project MUSE
This database offers all full-text articles from over 300 peer-reviewed journals; subjects include humanities, arts, medicine, mathematics, social sciences, and more.

Use this database if your research question intersects with the discipline of psychology.   User Guide

Use this database if your research question intersects with the discipline of sociology.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
Use this database if your research question intersects with the discipline of political science.

Many of the databases on the list do not supply full-text versions of a needed article. In the results screen, if there is no full-text link readily available, click on the WebBridge icon to determine whether the journal is available in the Geisel Library or in full-text via 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 email inbox within about a week.   WebBridge User Guide


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Citing Sources

MLA is the citation style required in this class. The library has both print and electronic versions of MLA citation guides and examples; or ask a librarian for assistance.


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Need More Help?

Ask a Librarian

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

WebBridge Video Tutorial (3.5 mins.)


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