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ENGL 8000: Bibliography, Research Methods, and Literary Theory: First steps

Provides an introduction to the methods and tools of productive scholarly research for English studies and the general humanities.

Course Texts

Oxford English Dictionary

The Library has both online access and the complete print edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Research tips

Bibliographical cards: Look up every item in GIL-Find by author or title to verify the call number and location. Can't find it? Try the keyword search or look the item up in the GIL-Find Universal Catalog or WorldCat.

Textual scholarship: Look for annotated editions of a work in GIL-Find by using the keyword search. Ex. 'jane austen' AND 'text'. Also search databases, such as MLA International Bibliography for 'jane austen' AND 'texts' or another word, such as 'editions' or 'editing'.

Journals:  Find journals by searching by Journal Title in GIL-Find or by choosing the Journals tab on the Library homepage.  To find online access to journals, look for "Click Here for Coverage and Availability" in your search results list. If you need editorial information for a journal, use the MLA Directory found in MLA International Bibliography or Ulrich'sweb.


Research Plan

Research Strategy: Here is an example of how to approach research.

  • Consult Harner's Literary Research Guide for important reference works.
  • Look for sources that provide current state of the art research, such as Years Work in English Studies (online access from 1996 here) or sources that provide an overview such as the Oxford, Cambridge, or Blackwell guides and companions.
  • Find more specific sources, such as books and journal articles.

The following is an actual research question from an English PhD. student:

What were the key Victorian periodicals?

After interviewing the student, I discovered she was interested in the poetry of Gerard Manly Hopkins and the possible influence of poetry on popular culture at the time, so she wanted to find out about periodicals published during Hopkins's productive periods.

Here are the steps I took:

Sources to Search

Humanities Librarian

Leslie Madden's picture
Leslie Madden
Library South
Suite 542

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