ENG 251 Course Guide
Research guide for English 251: Great Writers of English Literature I
Bibliographer for English
- English Research Guides
- English Course Guides
- ENG 110 Course Guide
- ENG 120 Course Guide
- ENG 151 Course Guide
- ENG 165 Course Guide
- ENG 170 Course Guide
- ENG 251 Course Guide
- ENG 320 Course Guide
- ENG 333 Course Guide
- ENG 345 Course Guide
- ENG 391 Course Guide
- ENG 395 Course Guide
- ENG 399 Course Guide
- ENG 701 Course Guide
- ENG 724 Course Guide
- English Literature Subject Guides
- Gale Virtual Reference Library
- This is an online collection of subject-specific encyclopedias which you can search all at once. It is an excellent way to get the background information you may need later on in your search.
- Literature Criticism Online
- These are collections of selected criticism on specific works, authors or themes. They are an excellent way of figuring out what critical conversations have happened around the work in question.
- Reference Works in Print
- Browse the subject headings to find reference works on your author, or use the Subject Heading Keyword search to go straight to the relevant works.Most subject headings have subheadings like “dictionaries,” “encyclopedias” and so forth.
- Oxford English Dictionary
- The OED is more than just a dictionary; it's a historical record of the English language. You can use it to find out how usage of a word has shifted over time and when particular usages became popular.
Books (CUNY Catalog)
You can search the catalog for Queens College only, any other CUNY library, or all of them together. Use the Request feature to send books here from other CUNY libraries.
Subject headings describe books in the catalog. If you know what the right subject heading is, then you can use the Subject Begins With search to find all the books we have on your topic.
In literature, there is a simple trick you can use: Authors' names are usually subject headings (last names first). In the case of anonymous works like Beowulf you can use the title instead.
For older works, this can get a little more complicated:
- Criticism on Beowulf and other anonymous works can be found by title.
- Authors like Marie de France, who don't have surnames, can be found by first name.
You can search Queens College only, any other CUNY library, or all of them together. Use the “Title Request” feature to send books here from other CUNY libraries.
The library is arranged in such a way that books on the same topic are located together on the shelf. In the case of research on literature, this is particularly useful. Books on British literature can be found in call numbers starting with PR on level five.
Most of the books on Chaucer, for instance, are stored together between PR1850 and PR1951, although he may also be referenced in the books on Middle English literature around PR275. When you have the shelf of books in front of you, you can look through the indexes and tables of contents to find the best book for your paper.
Start at the library's database page. On the left, there is an option to sort by subject. From there, you can choose “English” in the drop-down menu.
This is the most comprehensive database of quality scholarly articles in literature and related fields, and allows you the most flexible search strategy.
- Allows Name of Work and Person -- About searches so that you can look directly for information on your work of interest.
- Note that some older titles have variant spellings. You will need to find out what spelling is used so that you can find all the criticism on a work.
- Use keywords to narrow your search. Include as many synonyms and related words as you can. Use OR to combine them and wildcards (asterisks) to search for words with the same root.
- Options exist to eliminate dissertations and to limit to English articles only.
- Use the Find It button to access full text, electronically or in print.
Full Text Databases:JSTOR and Project Muse
- Good for searching for particular phrases
- Full-text searching, but no indexing
- JSTOR is bigger, but does not include the most recent work (3–5 years)
- Project Muse is smaller and more recent
Finding Reputable Sources
- Peer review is a process by which articles are checked by subject experts before they are published, and helps to ensure that articles are reputable.
- MLA notes whether each article listed is peer reviewed.
- Check the publisher. University presses are good, but you can check out other publishers by looking at their websites or by checking with your professor.
- If it's listed in MLA, that is a good sign.
Books or Journals Available at QC
- Click on “Queens” in the record to find the call number.
- For help reading call numbers, please see this tutorial.
Books in Other CUNY Libraries
- Click on “Title Request” and enter the barcode from your QC ID.
Books Not Available in CUNY or Other Materials Not Available at QC
- Use interlibrary loan (ILL). It's also available directly in Find It.
Please see the library's online guides to British and American literature and medieval literature. This guide includes more detailed descriptions of all the relevant databases, links to useful resources on the free Web, and more.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.
- Stacks (Call # A-L Level 4; Call # P-Z Level 5) - LB2369 .G53 2009
- Reference Level 3 - LB2369 .G53 2009
- Online MLA Formatting and Style Guide from the OWL at Purdue