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EN 104 - Literature Across Cultures: Experiences That Connect Us


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to the Literature Across Cultures: Experiences that Connect Us 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 Geisel Library website includes a Research Help page, which contains numerous guides to using library resources and finding information. Included is a Research Strategy guide that walks you through the seven steps of doing successful college-level research, as well as a number of helpful video tutorials. Please take advantage of these resources.


Reference Sources for Background Information

Reference Databases

Credo Reference

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

Literature Resource Center

Oxford Reference Online (ORO)

Individual Reference Titles

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.

Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace

British and Irish Literature and Its Times: The Victorian Era to the Present
     Ref PR25 .M671

Classical Literature and Its Times
     Ref PA3003 .M67

Critical Survey of Literary Theory
     Ref PN45 .C74

Dictionary of Literary Terms
     Ref PN41 .C83

Handbook to Literature
     Ref PN41 .H355

Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature

Popular World Fiction (4 volumes)
     Ref PM3503 .P586


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Search the Geisel Library Catalog to locate books, government documents and web materials on your topic.  To search library catalogs you will need to use Boolean Operators.   For a review on Boolean Operators watch our Boolean Operator video tutorial.  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 Asian Literature or books on Albert Camus.

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:

  • (veteran OR soldier OR warrior) AND "post traumatic stress disorder"
  • (nationalism OR rebellion) AND African literature
  • whitman 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 "Request via Interlibrary Loan link" in the book's catalog record.


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Journal Articles

To search for journal articles you will need to use Boolean Operators. For a review on Boolean Operators watch our Boolean Operator video tutorial.  Before you start searching for articles in online journal databases there are a two things you need to be aware of:

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, click 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).

Journal Finder
If you find a citation to an article in the bibliography of a book or article you can use Journal Finder to see whether or not Geisel Library has access to the volume and issue that you need. Simply type in the name of the journal in Journal Finder and click search. If we have access to that title Journal Finder will tell you where you can locate it (either electronically or in print). If we do not have access to the journal you need you can place an interlibrary loan request for that item. To learn more on how to use Journal Finder watch our video tutorial.

Starting Point Databases

MLA International Bibliography

Academic Search Premier

Additional Research Databases

If you are searching a topic outside the scope of literary criticism consult Geisel's article databases by subject.  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.

ProQuest Central
Use to locate research on your topic from a variety of different disciplines.

America History and Life
Use to research North American history

Historical Abstracts
Use to research non-North American history

Use JSTOR to perform an interdisciplinary search on your topic (this database searches the back issues of journals)

Project MUSE
Use Project Muse to pull up research on your topic from a variety of different disciplines.

Use to research your topic from a psychological perspective

Use to locate research how your topic is affected by today's society.


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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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