Background Sources - Literature
Literature Resource Center (LRC)
Indexes biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of more than 120,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and other writers by providing access to content of numerous print counterparts including Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism Select, and Dictionary of Literary Biography.
Literature Criticism Online
Contains thousands of essays from the Gale literary criticism books including: Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism (CMLC), Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC), Drama Criticism (DC), Literature Criticism from 1400-1800 (LC), Poetry Criticism (PC), Shakespearean Criticism (SC), Short Story Criticism (SSC), and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (TCLC).
Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
The Guide presents a comprehensive historical survey of literary theory and criticism, providing entries on critical schools and movements, critics and theorists, and terms, along with references and bibliographies for further research.
Using specialized encyclopedias to become familiar with your topic is the most efficient way to get started on your research. These encyclopedias, written by knowledgeable scholars, will summarize your topic, provide you with social and historical context, familiarize you with specialized terminology, and often provide lists of additional resources on your topic. They are providing you in condensed form information from multiple books and articles. Think of them as CliffsNotes ... that you are allowed to use.
The encyclopedias listed below may be useful for many of the topics suggested by your instructor, but there are many, many more. The easiest way to locate them in the Library is to do an Oskicat search like this:
1. Use the keyword search so that it looks for the words everywhere in the record.
2. The asterisk is a truncation symbol, which will retrieve variations of the word: ethics, ethical, etc.
3. The Doe Reference collection includes many encyclopedias related to social science topics. Limiting your search to this collection will retrieve a manageable number of records. If you retrieve nothing, change the search parameter to All Collections.
Try different terminology and be persistent. If you are not finding a relevant resource, be sure to ask for help.
Searches you might try:
encyclopedia and literature
encyclopedia and poetry
encyclopedia and literary theory