COM LIT R1B: Great Expectations

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 you've 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

  • For publications from a specific discipline...

    1. determine discipline(s) relevant to your topic
    2. view article databases by corresponding subject(s)
    3. review database descriptions (pay special attention to Recommended databases)


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

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

    Project Muse
    • multi-disciplinary
    • humanities and social science content
    • full text resource
    • search contents or browse by defined areas of research focus

Other resources: subject encyclopedias

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

Finding literary/film 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, filmplay, etc., being written about.  You'll see what others are focusing on.  You may find they use other terms relevant to your topic that can be searched to increase your result pool.

    • Search for analysis about the author, director, play, etc., you are writting 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 or work, examining their table of contents and indexes can help isolate chapters of relevance.

    hint: when an author is well known and been written about for a long  time, you may find that results in article databases focus upon their influence on later works of literature. If this is the case, and, if it is not what you want, books can provide another way to find literary analysis focused more directly on your author & their work.

  • When searching a library catalog, try adding the term criticism to your search for materials about an author, literary movement, or time period (see OskiCat search tips, in this tab, for examples).

How to search

Last Update: September 06, 2013 10:13