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ENGL 1101/1102: Finding Sources

General Scholarly Databases

Special Subject Databases

Introducing Citations into Text


Tips for Searching Databases about any Topic

1. Searching that exact concept

Ex: "#metoo" OR "me too movement"

The newer the concept, the fewer sources there are likely to be!

2. Generalizations of that concept

Ex: consent

Ex: sexual assault

3.  Generalizations AND region/time

Ex. consent AND twentieth-century

Ex. women's rights activism AND Georgia

Ex. social media activism AND gender 

4. Topic and style of analysis

Ex. consent AND feminism

Ex. consent AND interview study


Tips for Searching Databases on Literature

1. Criticism on the exact piece of literature

Ex: "Turtles all the way Down"

If it is new, there may not be any criticism!

2. Criticism on the author's other work or general work

Ex: John Green

This works better for people who have written many works and for many years.

3. Scholarship on the genre/movement and how it works with a topic

Ex. YA literature AND race, YA literature AND trauma, Graphic novels AND boyhood, Southern gothic AND ghosts

4. Scholarship on a literary theme (interdisciplinary or in lit)

Ex. trauma, disability, race, sexuality, queer, confession, family, gothic, spirits, humor, place, home

5. Scholarship on a style of analysis

Ex. Feminism AND YA

How to Think About Research