S ASIAN R5B: India in the Writer's Eye

This tab

The notes in this tab contain suggestions about how to proceed with research based on your assignment. These suggestions build upon, and presume familiarity with, the concepts and processes addressed in the Choosing a resource tab of this guide.

Suggested resources


  • find books on your topic
  • find periodicals already identified as having articles on your topic

Article databases

  • find articles and essays on a topic
  • find research focused on an aspect of a topic
  • find current research

  • Subject specific databases (for publications from a specific discipline)

    1. determine disciplines relevant to your topic
    2. view databases by subject
    3. review descriptions, paying special attention to Recommended databases


      Historical Abstracts is a recommended databases for history
      • can limit to results that focus on a time period
      • can refine search to specific types of publications
      • can limit by language
      • use UC-eLinks to locate result text

      MLA is a recommended database for literature
      • can limit by type of publication
      • can limit by language
      • use UC-eLinks to locate result text

  • General databases (for publications from many disciplines)    

    Academic Search Complete
    • popular and scholarly content (good for popular culture topics, magazine/news content in addition to academic journals)
    • some results available online
    • has UC-eLinks feature
  • Google Scholar
    • strength is scholarly journal literature
    • use UC-eLinks to get full text, 
      [ but you must first enable UC-eLinks - 
      via Settings gear > Library links ]

    • scholarly journals
    • full text resource
    • use advanced search (to narrow to specific discipline, and set limits)

Other resources: subject encyclopedias

  • to get background on a topic
  • for literature, try Literature Resource Center
    • use Author Search (in tabbed results see biographies)

How to search

  • Search tips
    • it may also help to limit results by language
      (multi-language databases generally offer this limit)

  • Tips specifically for catalogs

    • for materials about a topic...
      • search 2 or 3 terms representing key concepts of your focus
      • there isn't a search that finds everything: try different combinations of terms, synonyms, related terms
      • look at the records of relevant results -- do their subjects suggest other search terms ?

        important:  subject terms are defined by the Library of Congress, and not always what you would expect. Examine relevant results to discover how your topic, time period, people, etc., is defined. Use that terminology to search for other materials on that subject.

      • for materials about an author or literary movement, try adding the term criticism to your other search terms (see example below)
      • for specific types of materials, try adding terms for those types (encyclopediasbiographies, etc.) to your other search terms
        (see example below)

        sample keyword searches...
        obsessive-compulsive disorder
        compulsive behavior
        france and history and class
        elizabethan and society
        elizabethan* and custom*
        octavia butler and criticism
        kubrick and criticism
        eugene o'neill and biography

    • author search - finds books by, interviews with, correspondence...
      [use specified syntax last name, first name]
    • limit by material type - change the default search of Entire Collection
      to the desired type of material (Journals/Magazines/Newspapers, Films/Videos...)
    • search too broad ? Use Modify button to add relevant limits.

  • defining a topic
Read more

Finding literary analysis

  • Using an appropriate article database is a must for identifying articles or chapters on a topic:

    • Very specific searches (specific focus about a specific character in a specific work) may not net the desired results. It's worth trying for a direct bullseye, but you may need to adjust your aim.

    • Search for analysis about the book, play, etc., being written about.  You'll see what others are focusing on.  You may find they use other terms for your focus, that can be searched to increase your result pool.

    • Search for analysis about the author of the book, play, etc., being written about.  Your focus may be a thematic/technical element that shows up repeatedly in their work.  Materials that focus on authorial concerns may include information about your work, or be relevant to your analysis of it.

  • If the overall goal is to find analysis of an author's ideas and influence, and he/she is a philosopher, theologian, psychologist, visual artist, etc. -- you may also wish to explore recommended databases for associated subject areas.

  • In addition to looking for articles, if books have been written about your author/work, examining the table of contents and indexes of promising titles may help isolate chapters of relevance.

  • When using the library catalog, try adding the term criticism to searches for materials about an author, literary movement, or time period (see OskiCat search tips, in this tab, for examples).
Last Update: May 21, 2013 16:41