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Once you decide on the work of literature you will discuss in your paper, start exploring the context of the work, such as:
- Author biography
- Social norms of the era
- Historical events
For Students Series
The "For Students" series contains background information about many works of literature commonly studies by college students.
Look for your story, author, or literary movement in the electronic or print versions of these books.
For Students (Complete Collection)
Electronic access to Drama for Students, Epics for Students, Literary Movements for Students, Literary Newsmakers for Students, and Literarcy Themes for Students.
Short Stories for Students (print)
Call Number: Ref. PN3373 .S3844
Search for a short story to find author biography, summary of the story, character analysis, historical context, themes, and more.
Poetry for Students (Print)
Call Number: PN1101 .P756 (In Reference at Newton and Decatur)
Search by poem title to find author information, a line-by-line discussion of the poem, themes, analysis, and more.
Gale Virtual Reference Library
Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) is a great place to look for background information about authors and literary movements as well as historical events, places, and social norms.
It includes the For Students series, so you'll see some of those results, too.
An online collection of of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. Use the search box at the top of the screen to search all of the resources or use the subject links on the left-hand side to search specific works in the collection.
- You may not use your background source in your paper, but the information you gather will give the rest of your research direction.
- Start keeping a list of search terms, important information, and possible topics, such as:
- What date was the work written?
- What years did the author live?
- Where did the author live?
- What are some issues or themes from the author's life that show up in the work?