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ENGL 2121 - British Literature I: MLA Bibliography Tips

Tips for searching MLA - Journal Articles

You can find great material using the MLA International database, especially if you search periodicals and books separately.

How to search for critical essays in periodicals:

  • Start off with a very basic search of the author's last name and title keywords, e.g. "Lee AND Mockingbird".
  • Limit Publication Type to Journal Article. Your search will look like this.
  • MLA is not a full text database, but it will link to full text articles in other databases. So, limiting searches to full text may mean missing some gems.
  • Find It buttons indicate that the article is not available in any of our EBSCOhost databases. 
  • Tracking down articles may include searching other databases like JSTOR, searching journal titles in GIL to see if we have microfilm copies, or searching other library catalogs.
  • Ask a librarian if you need help.

Tips for searching MLA - Book Articles

You can find great material using the MLA International database, especially if you search periodicals and books separately.

How to search for critical essays within books:

  • Start off with a very basic search of the author's last name and keywords of title, e.g. "Lee AND Mockingbird"
  • Limit Publication Type to Book Article/Chapter.
  • Don't check the Full Text box. You are looking for essays in books which are generally not going to be available full text.
  • The titles of your results will be the chapter title, not the title of the book.
  • Your search will look like this.
  • Look for the book title listed after "In" which will be followed by the book's author(s) or editor(s). The book title can be a little tricky to find.
  • Copy the book title.
  • Open another browser window or tab and go to the Exact Search screen in GIL.
  • Paste the book title into the search box and click Go.
  • If the book is not available at GPC, try an Exact Search in the GIL Universal Catalog.

Reference and Instruction Librarian

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Karen Doster-Greenleaf
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