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EN 104 - World Youth Today: A Tour in Fiction


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to youth throughout the world, as expressed in recent fiction. It is meant as a starting point for your research. For further research assistance, please stop by the Reference Desk in person or pose your question online at Ask a Librarian.


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.


Background Information

Before looking for books and journal articles on your topic, it is helpful to explore reference resources such as subject-specific encyclopedias. These resources can provide background information on authors and literary works, as well as the social issues, geographic areas, and themes being addressed in this course. They can also help you determine keywords to search in the library catalog and journal databases. Use the bibliographies at the end of articles in reference resources to identify books and journal articles worth tracking down.

Starting Points

Credo Reference
Search with keywords to find entries from encyclopedias of anthropology, geography, history, psychology, and other fields of study. Sources include Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English, Encyclopedia of African History, and Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict.

Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society
This reference set offers a social and cultural history of childhood, through articles on aspects of childhood such as education, child labor, foster care, and dating.

Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture
This revised edition of a five-volume encyclopedia offers a multidisciplinary perspective on the history and culture of Latin America. While many entries are biographical profiles of important figures in Latin American history, others cover topics such as colonialism, missions, tourism, the coffee industry, and popular music and dance.

Encyclopedia of Race and Racism
This online encyclopedia examines race and racism from a variety of scholarly perspectives, including anthropology, sociology, history, economics, and science. The nearly 400 articles include biographies of racial theorists and political leaders, along with topical entries on anti-Semitism, eugenics, hip-hop culture, occupational segregation, and slavery.

Encyclopedia of Social Problems
Find articles on historical and contemporary social issues related to the American Dream, such as immigration, assimilation, inequality, social mobility, and conspicuous consumption.

Encyclopedia of Social Theory
This encyclopedia provides an informative introduction to contemporary and classical social theory, including articles on important theorists as well as concepts such as citizenship, labeling, patriarchy, and stratification.

Encyclopedia of World Cultures
This comprehensive resource describes over 1,500 cultures from around the world. Each essay provides information on the culture's history, economy, social relations, political organization, and religious beliefs, along with suggestions for further reading.

International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family
The four volumes of this online resource offer a cross-cultural perspective on topics such as family planning, cohabitation, widowhood, and child abuse. It also examines the history of family life within various cultural and religious traditions.

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
This resource offers cross-cultural and interdisciplinary insight into the ideas that have shaped humanity and history. In over 750 articles, distinguished scholars discuss the evolution of our thinking about important concepts such as capitalism, justice, and mysticism, and how those ideas have shaped our social and cultural institutions over time.

New Encyclopedia of Africa
This online reference work covers the history of African cultures from ancient civilization through the colonial era and independence. In addition to biographical profiles and country histories, the encyclopedia offers in-depth essays on important themes like art, education, language, cosmology, and wildlife.

Oxford Reference Online
This database includes many reference works in the fields of literature and history, including A Guide to Countries of the World and A Dictionary of Contemporary World History. These are good for basic background information on cultural and historical events, as well as some author information.

Twenty-first Century Sociology:  A Reference Handbook
This reference work provides scholarly overviews of the latest sociological thinking about topics such as group dynamics, marriage, socialization processes, and mass communications.

Literature Resources

Literature Resource Center
This database includes lengthy biographical profiles of authors, plot summaries, and literary criticism for thousands of novelists, poets, and other writers.   User Guide


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Geisel Library Catalog
There are two approaches to finding books in the Geisel Library catalog:

1)  Keyword Searching
If you have a specific topic in mind, try a Keyword search on terms that represent your topic of interest. Use the Boolean AND to combine together multiple concepts, and use the Boolean OR to expand your search with synonyms and related terms. Use the * (asterisk) to retrieve variant forms of a word; for example, mobil* will find books with the words "mobile" or "mobility" in the catalog record.

Here are some examples of keyword searches related to this course's theme:

  • (japan* or india*) AND cultur*
  • postmodern* AND canada* AND litera*
  • critic* and Africa* and litera*
  • (youth* or young adult* or teenager*) and litera*

2)  Subject Searching
If you have a general area of interest but haven't chosen a specific topic, try searching some of the phrases below as Subject Headings in the catalog. Subject headings are assigned to books to describe their primary subject matter and themes. Subject searching is effective for finding books about broad concepts. Skimming through these books may give you ideas about how to focus your research. Also, if you are researching a particular author or work, try searching the author's name as a Subject to locate biographies and literary criticism.

  • Literature and society
  • National characteristics
  • Postmodernism Literature
  • Developing countries - In literature
  • Culture Conflict In Literature
  • Youth in literature
  • Imperialism in literature
  • Conflict of generations

Here are some books found through keyword and subject searching:

By searching WorldCat, you can identify potentially useful books owned by other college libraries and have them delivered to Geisel Library for your use. Try searching the same keywords and subject headings that proved successful in the Geisel Library catalog. To request a book, open the book's WorldCat record, click the "Request via Interlibrary Loan" link, and follow the on-screen instructions. Allow 7-10 days for delivery. You will be emailed when your book arrives.


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Journal Articles


CrossSearch enables you to search across multiple databases at once to find journal articles. For papers with a literary focus, search the English subject category; for other topics, you may wish to search in History, Politics, and/or Sociology. The search results will include articles from a variety of databases in the chosen subject areas, sorted from newest to oldest. If an article looks useful, click on the WebBridge icon to see if it is available in full-text or in Geisel Library's periodicals collection.

Starting your article search in CrossSearch can help you gauge how many articles are available about your topic. In the results screen, check the Results by Source section to see which databases have the most results. You can then run new searches in those databases, where you can take advantage of limiters and subject terms to zero in on the best articles for your topic. For tips on using CrossSearch, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins.; includes audio).

Individual Databases

Below are several databases that may yield useful journal articles for your research. Try searching the same keywords that you used in the library catalog, combining concepts together using the Boolean AND and OR operators. Once you find relevant articles, examine their Subject Headings and conduct Subject searches on the ones that seem potentially fruitful.

If you find a useful article for which no full-text link is available, click on the WebBridge icon to determine whether the journal is available in Geisel Library or in full-text via another database. If the article isn't available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Within a week, you should receive an email indicating that the article is available to access. To learn how to use WebBridge, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins.; includes audio).

Starting Points

Academic Search Premier
This multi-disciplinary database is an excellent starting point for finding scholarly journal articles and popular magazine articles on a wide range of topics.

Search here for full-text articles from major scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences.  User Guide

MLA International Bibliography
Start here for papers with a literary focus. This database provides citations for articles related to literature, language, and literary criticism.

An excellent starting point for social perspectives. This sociology database provides full-text journal articles and citations to books and conference papers.

Other Databases

America:  History and Life
The best place to start for topics involving North American history.

Historical Abstracts
This database provides abstracts to journal articles and books covering world history from 1450 to the present (excluding North America).

LexisNexis Academic - News
This database is the best place to begin searching for newspaper articles. This is particularly useful to search international newspapers.

Literature Resource Center
Limit the content type to "Literature Criticism" to find full-text articles about works of literature from more than 100 literary journals.    User Guide

New York Times
Full-text access to every article in the New York Times from 1851 to four years ago.   User Guide

Project MUSE
This database offers full-text articles from over 100 peer-reviewed journals, plus citations and abstracts to about 300 other journals.

Journal Finder

Use the Journal Finder to determine whether a particular article is available in Geisel Library's online databases or periodicals collection. This tool is helpful when you encounter citations to useful journal articles outside the journal databases; for example, in the bibliographies of reference books or other journal articles. Search the journal title (not the article title) in Journal Finder and use the resulting links to locate the article's full text in either a database or the library collection. If Journal Finder does not provide any links, you can request the journal article through Interlibrary Loan. To learn more about how to use the Journal Finder, please watch our video tutorial (3 mins.; includes audio).


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Selected Websites

These websites were handpicked for their relevance to your course topic. You may also want to conduct keyword searching on your topics in a search engine such as Google, but be sure to look for indications that the websites you find are authoritative, objective and reliable. For help with this, see our guide to Evaluating Websites.

The World Factbook (CIA)
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities

Contemporary Postcolonial & Postimperial Literature in English
This site is the main online source for general information on postcolonial authors and literatures in English.

Reading Women Writers and African Literatures
This site is a useful resource for those interested in women writers of Francophone Africa. Entries in English are available although French is the predominant language.

Voice of the Shuttle:  Literatures (other than English)
Lists of many links to language or country specific websites. Scroll down for a complete listing.


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Citing Sources

For assistance with formatting your citations in MLA style, consult your copy of Doing Honest Work in College or ask for the MLA Handbook (Ready Ref LB2369 .G53) at the library's reference desk. You can also find links to online citation guides on the library's Citing Sources webpage.


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Book cover image for The Hungry Tide

Jennifer Thorn

Library Liaison
Betsy Holmes

Research Basics
Background Information
    · Starting Points
    · Literature Resources
Journal Articles
    · CrossSearch
    · Individual Databases
    · Journal Finder
Selected Websites
Citing Sources

Subject Guide