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Assignment | Literary Analysis (Barr): Research

Prof. Christine Barr | ENGL 1302 (Spring 2022)

Online Library Materials

General Search Tips

  • Leave the work title in quote marks when you search to get an exact match.
    • Yes: "Odour of Chrysanthemums"
    • No: Odour of Chrysanthemums
  • Include author name with AND, especially for vague titles
    • Yes: "The Necklace" AND Maupassant
    • Yes: "The Storm" AND Chopin

Yes, be prepared to search multiple places. Short stories are short -- there's only so much criticism one can support! You will strike out completely (0 results) in some databases.

Scroll down for tips on searching for literary analysis in these databases.

Search Tips for Specific Databases

By default, Bloom's will sort your search results into different tabs based on what they are. You want the second tab of results, Criticism.

Bloom's Literature search results - skip to the second tab labels Criticism

Search JSTOR for the title of the story in quote marks.

If you need to include author, add AND author to the search, by either typing it in with the title [ "odour of chrysanthemums" AND lawrence] or by using the "Search within results" after searching for just the title.

Search JSTOR for the work title in quotes

Gale's Literature Criticism Online link will take you into Advanced Search. Do use quote marks, and do change the "field" dropdowns to specify "name of work" and "person-by or about" respectively.

Advanced Search page showing the search fields changed to label "name of work" and "person by or about"
Click to enlarge in new tab.

As you type into the search fields, pay attention to the auto-suggested terms. If/when there's a match, just click to select!

Auto-suggest for author name appearing while typing

When you get your search results, pay attention to the "literature criticism" filter.

Each result is also tagged with its type -- you want "critical essay." Pay attention to the word count, as well -- a critical essay that's only 200 words is likely not going to be much use.

Search results - pay attention to where it says "literature criticism" both as a filter and as a label on each result.
Click to enlarge in new tab.

Do include quote marks on the story title and attach the author name with AND  [shown below: "the necklace" AND maupassant]

In the left column of the results view, limit Source Types to Literary Criticism. Otherwise you'll have a mix of criticism, summary, and other things that you don't want for this assignment to wade through.

Search results page pointing out sources that mention analysis in their descriptions, plus a filter on the left side to limit results only to criticism.
Click to enlarge in new tab.

Like the others, search for the name of the work in quotes AND author name ["odour of chrysanthemums" AND lawrence].

First filter your results to "only content I have access to" to get articles you can read without special requests. You also want to exclude "reviews" from your results, as those aren't the same as literary criticism.

Search results filter pointed out - very important to switch to content you can access and to exclude reviews.
Click to enlarge in new tab.

Accessing the Databases

Access online library materials through the library databases!

Student ID BadgeBrowse by subject area

To access the databases locked icon (same icon that displays by the LSC-limited access resources) from off-campus, you will be prompted to enter your 14-digit library barcode.

Don't have one yet? Request a barcode number online.

Database Tips

Full Text: not seeing where to read an article? Check your filters for a full-text limiter.
Advanced search: AND = less results, more specific. Example: stress AND college students AND finals
Advanced search: NOT = less results, but not as few as AND. Example, school NOT public.
Advanced Search: OR = more results. Example: college OR university.