English 395 Course Guide
Research guide for English 395: Middle Eastern American Literature
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
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- ENG 391 Course Guide
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- ENG 701 Course Guide
- ENG 724 Course Guide
- English Literature Subject Guides
Please see our list of databases. Once you are there, you can select the subject that you are searching (in this case, English). There are several databases listed there, but I recommend MLA International Bibliography and, secondarily, JSTOR, but please explore the others as needed.
The most important database for English literature, and the best place to start.
- Literature and language resources only, but it contains most of the content in those areas in JSTOR and Project MUSE, and more
- In many cases, recognizes various spellings of names and titles (Ameen vs. Amine)
- Offers the best search options:
- Name of Work
- Allows you to search by title of a novel or other work
- Allows you to search for all criticism on the works of one author
- Especially useful if you want to catch everything on an author who is less well-known
- The best way to search for themes, character names, etc.
- National Literature
- For instance, you can search within the category of American Literature for particular themes or influences.
You may also want to consider excluding dissertations and limiting to articles in English.
- Smaller than MLA, but includes full-text searching
- Broader coverage and Library of Congress-style indexing
- You may find interdisciplinary materials here in addition to literature-related ones.
- Full text access to journals in a wide variety of fields
- Can locate search terms that are mentioned in an article but not indexed
- Link at the top will help you find your search terms
- Phrase Searching available with quotation marks
- Use “Book of Khalid” to find articles about The Book of Khalid; search without the asterisks if you want articles containing the words book and Khalid. Note that you will also have to search for other spellings, such as Khaled; JSTOR does not “know” that these are the same text.
- Can limit to articles or book reviews
- Articles are useful for obvious reasons, but book reviews can help you to identify books on your topic.
- No recent information
- JSTOR does not have the rights to most articles until 3-5 years after publication. Do not look here for the most recent information.
- JSTOR is a good place to browse through the issues of journals that may be relevant to your work. You can use "Browse by discipline" and choose the one you want, or just look through the archives of a journal that you've already identified.
- A collection of subject-specific encyclopedias on all topics
- Not a source for deep and detailed discussions, but an excellent source of bibliographies you can mine for more information and overviews of subject with which you may be unfamiliar
- If you use this link, you will be able to access library materials through Google Scholar.
- Because of its integration with Google Book Search, it is often very helpful for identifying books and other sources.
- Searches across a variety of sources.
Note that, even though it is Google Scholar, you still need to pay attention to where your sources are coming from. You will also very likely come across many incomplete citations and unpublished dissertations, which you may not wish to cite (but you should certainly check their bibliographies).
From the “Select Library” menu, select “All CUNY Libraries”. Since you will very likely need more than we have at Queens College, searching across CUNY libraries will help you to find more materials.
Subject Begins With
Search for the author's name to find books on that author. Write the last name first.
You will see a list which breaks down the works on an author by subject. Interesting subheadings may include:
- The title of the work of interest
- Types of works available (such as dictionaries or concordances)
- “Criticism and Interpretation”
There are no books in CUNY libraries with Rihani as a subject, but this works well for authors on whom there is more scholarship.
Other Subject Headings
Just to provide an idea of the subject headings that you may find of use, here are a few:
- American Literature -- Arab American Authors
- Arab Americans in literature
- Middle East in Literature
- Middle Eastern Literature
- Postcolonialism in Literature
- Syrian Americans (Similar terms, too, are useful)
- United States -- Emigration and Immigration -- History
Call Number Browsing
Once you find a good book, look for others near it on the shelf.
- Most works on an author will be shelved together.
- Try the same call number in the reference section (Level 3), too.
WorldCat allows you to search across libraries across the United States and is an excellent way to find books outside of CUNY.
Remember, you can request books in WorldCat through Interlibrary Loan.
- America: History and Life -- History in the Americas; allows searching by historical period
- Historical Abstracts -- History elsewhere in the world; also allows searching by historical period
- Sociological Abstracts
- Other Subjects
- See our list of databases and filter by subject
- Look for an article that is close enough to your interests for you to have a conversation with it.
- It doesn't need to say exactly what you want to say.
- It does need to give some attention to at least one idea that is relevant to your topic.
- Make sure that the source is scholarly.
- Look at where it was published and for what audience.
- Consider the length and depth of your source.
- Check the abstract or index if there is one.
- Articles don't always have abstracts, but if they do, reading them can help you decide whether it will be useful to your paper.
- If you are using a book, check the index to find out whether your topic is discussed and where.
MLA International Bibliography, like some other databases, does not include full text. To get the full text of an article, you need to use Find It. Here are some options you may see:
- Full Text Online
- Click the link. Sometimes you may need to browse to the appropriate volume and issue.
- CUNY has a copy
- The article is in print somewhere in CUNY. The link will take you to the record in the CUNY Catalog.
- Remember to check whether it is a book or journal article.
- If it is a journal article, check holdings information to make sure we have the volume and issue you want.
- If it is a book and it is held in another CUNY, choose Request Title to have it sent here.
- Request Item via Interlibrary Loan
- We don't have it, but we can get it for you. You will be giving a request form. Most information will be filled in automatically, but you will need to add the year.
- You need to sign up for an account first.
- Arrival time is between two days and two weeks.
- Go to Google Books
- Click to see the book article in Google Books. Keep in mind that this will NOT get you the entire book!
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.
- Stacks (Call # A-L Level 4; Call # P-Z Level 5) - LB2369 .G53 2009
- Desk Reference Level 3 - LB2369 .G53 2009
- Online MLA Formatting and Style Guide from the OWL at Purdue