ENG 399 Course Guide
Research guide for English 399 Senior Honors Seminar: The Observed Life: Gossip, Secrecy, and the Circulation of Social Knowledge.
Bibliographer for English
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- ENG 701 Course Guide
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- English Literature Subject Guides
- English Literature Research Guide
- A guide to resources available for research in literature generally, covering serveral types of resources students often overlook.
Databases are the best place to search for articles.
If you are dealing with a lesser-known author, you are more likely to find articles than books. You can also search more specifically for what you want when you are searching articles.
For more databases, go to the library's Databases page and select English from the drop-down menu.
- MLA International Bibliography
- For literary research in general, it is advisable to start your research here. MLA is the most scholarly and comprehensive database for articles and books on the modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics, and features a specialized search interface that allows you to search for articles on a particular work or author.
- Full text searching of journals in a wide array of fields. Make sure you select Language and Literature before you begin your search. Because you are searching the full-text, you will likely need to use more search terms than in MLA. In fact, this is a useful strategy when your search turns up too many items. Significant overlap with MLA, but you are likely to find different articles because of the different search capabilities.
- Project MUSE
- Full-text searching of over 200 journals. Provides less material than JSTOR, but better indexing. Some overlap with MLA.
- Humanities Full Text
- Citations to articles in general and specialized journals from across the humanities. Includes less material than MLA or JSTOR, but more items that are not found in MLA. It is particularly useful for book reviews.
See Full Text below for information about getting the full text of articles you find in databases.
Author as Subject
Browse the subject headings in the CUNY Catalog to find works on a particular author. For example, a Subject begins with… search for Austen, Jane will bring you a list of subheadings describing our books on Austen.There are a wide range of these, from "Adaptations" to "Political and Social Views" to "Views on Eavesdropping."
A few subheadings show up under most authors as subjects, including Criticism and Interpretation and Encyclopedias. Also, there are often subheadings for particular works-in this case, there's one for Emma.
You can also do keyword searches for the themes that interest you. The books you find using this method may be less targeted to the work and author that you want. Sometimes you may even find books that aren't primarily about literature at all. However, you may be able to find frameworks or theories that you can apply to your work. For instance, you may find subject headings like this:
- Communication-Social aspects
- Gossip in literature
- Social interaction in literature
There are more out there; you'll probably find them as you search. Once you find an appropriate subject heading, you can search for it using Subject begins with… from the main search page.
At QC and Across CUNY
You can search our collection at Queens College, or any other CUNY library, or all of them together. Choose with the Select Library menu. Use the Title Request feature to send books here from other CUNY libraries.
Reference works such as encyclopedias and dictionaries can be found on the third floor, and can serve many functions. See the English Literature Guide for information about types of reference works available in the library.
Browse the shelves.
Reference books will be on Level 3, while most other books will be on Level 5.
PN holds general works about literature, PR is British literature and PS is American literature.
If you find a good book in the catalog, look at the books that are near it on the shelf. You may find something else of interest. Since this system attempts to group together all the books on each author, this is sometimes a better way of finding more information on a particular work than combing through the catalog is.
WorldCat is a catalog of libraries across the United States, and some international libraries. If you wish to extend your search beyond CUNY holdings, this is a great place to start. Books not held in CUNY can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan.
- Oxford English Dictionary
- The Oxford English Dictionary provides extensive information on the history of words in English, including not only the etymology but also usage examples from different periods of each word's history. You will find this extremely helpful when you are preparing your keyword presentation. You may also want to explore the Historical Thesaurus, which is now part of the OED.
- Google NGram Viewer
- This is a tool Google provides to search for the frequency of words over time using the Google Books corpus. Again, this may be useful when you are preparing your keyword presentation.
- Dictionary of Literary Biography
- A very large collection of short biographies of authors, also including information about critical reception.
In MLA and some other databases, click Find It for journal articles. This will take you straight to electronic or direct you to print.
Find It doesn't always work with book articles and some databases don't support it, so you have to check the CUNY Catalog in those cases.
If we don't have an item, you can use interlibrary loan (ILL).
If it's a book and CUNY holds a copy, use Request Title from that record instead.
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 2000
RefWorks is a database for research management, writing, and collaboration. Users can create a personalized profile to create, gather, manage, store, and share citations regardless of original format. Citation lists and bibliographies can be generated using many standard citation formats, including MLA.
A code is needed to access RefWorks from home—please ask at the Library Research Office (RO 307).