Loyola Notre Dame Library
Loyola ENG 200-Level
Shortcuts for Literary Research

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Finding Articles :
To find articles on topics related to literature, use the following DATABASES:
(available from Library web page www.loyola.edu/library via English/Literature Resources or Databases by Title)

Literary Criticism:

  • MLA Bibliography References to sources on literature, language and film. (1963-pres.)
  • LION Provides text, criticism and biographical information of English and American authors.
  • World Shakespeare Bibliography citations to books, articles, theatrical productions and other works on Shakespeare.

    Additional Useful Resources:

  • Oxford English Dictionary definitions, etymology and the history of words>
  • JSTOR backfile of scholarly articles on many academic topics including literary criticism.
  • Project Muse Full-text journals in literature, performing arts and other topics.
Searching the Databases:
  • Formulate a thesis question on which your research will be centered
  • Search a relevant database using keywords or search by subject when appropriate.
  • Use AND to find citations containing both keywords: e.g., (symbolism AND Faulkner)
  • Use OR for related terms to search for citations that contain one term OR the other.
    e.g., (women or feminine)
  • Always put OR phrases in the same search box and enclose with parentheses
  • Use truncation (often the asterisk*) to retrieve similar words with different endings, e.g., spirit* will retrieve, spirits, spiritual, spirituality, etc.
Finding Full-Text:
Often the databases will provide citations but not the full-text on an article. When you have a citation and need to find the full-text, try the following steps.
  • Search Electronic journals to see if a journal is full-text online (search by title of the journal NOT title of the article).
  • Search the Library Catalog (SHARC) to see if a journal is located in our library.
  • Request an article from interlibrary loan (ILL) if not full-text online or in the library.
    (use the Request forms on the library’s home page)
Finding Books:
  • Search the Library Catalog (SHARC) by keyword, title, author or subject.
  • The library catalog is shared by 3 other libraries. Use the request button at the top of the page to request a book from one of these other libraries (24-48 hour turn around).
  • If you can’t find a book in the library catalog, you can request it through ILL

MLA Style for Citations:
      Citations that you find in databases, such as the MLA Bibliography, LION and the library catalog are not formatted in the MLA style but should include the necessary elements. The library’s web site has a tip sheet for MLA citation style at: http://www.loyola.edu/library/ref/MLA.HTM

See also:

Gibaldi, John. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.
New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003.
Loyola Notre Dame Library (Ref and stacks) LB2369.G53 2003

Journal articles VS. Essays or articles in books (this is not in MLA style):

  • Journal articles: include author, title, journal title, volume, issue number (if given), date, page numbers.
  • Essays in books: include author of essay, title of essay, title of book, author or editor of book, edition (if given), place of publication, publisher, date published, page numbers.


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