COM LIT R1B: Language of Technology: Reading New Media through Literature

Questions? That's my job.

  • Lynn Jones

  •  

  • Office Hours: by appointment
  • Office Location: 212 Doe Library
  • Contact Info:

    510 768-7643

About this Guide

A guide to finding books and scholarly articles on literature and new media.

The Research Process

1. State your problem as a question as succinctly as possible. 

2. 'Brain dump': Write down what you already know about your topic, including

3. Decide what disciplinary methodologies you plan to use: e.g., sociology, political science, literature, psychology...

4. Fill in the gaps in your knowlege: get background information from specialized encyclopedias or other secondary sources.  Wikipedia can sometimes be good here, or Google News.

5. Select the best places/ databases to find information on your topic from the Library's list of databases by subject. Or use a catalog like Oskicat or Melvyl to search for books and other resources.

6. Use nouns from your brain dump as search terms.  

7. Evaluate what you find.  Change search terms to get closer to what you really want.

8. Refine Your Search Words - Using the information you have gathered, determine if your research words should be narrower or broader. You may need to search basic resources again using your new, focused topics and keywords.  

 

Off-campus Access to Library Resources

Before you can access Library resources from off campus make sure you have configured your computer with proxy server settings.

After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource.

Campus Library Map

Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.

UC Berkeley Library campus map

You can also view/download a PDF map of library locations. For library contact information and building addresses, visit our directory.

The Craft of Research [book]

This classic book on writing a college research paper is easily skimmed or deep enough for the truly obsessed researcher, explains the whole research process from initial questioning, through making an argument, all the way to effectively writing your paper. 

This link is to the Google Books preview.  But buy a secondhand copy for yourself. It's worth the $8 bucks.

This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.

Literary Criticism Resources

Searching Library Catalogs

oskicat logo Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and  audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own.

melvyl logo

Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide. You can use the Request button to request an item from another library, if we don't own it.

Melvyl has changed as of January 2012, and now includes many more articles.  Detailed Melvyl help

Where's the PDF?

Many article databases contain information about articles (citations or abstracts), not the entire text of the article.  Once you've used an article database to find articles on your topic, you may need to use this button:uc-eLinks button in order to locate and read the full text of the article. The UC-eLinks button appears in nearly all the databases available from the UCB Library website.

UC-eLinks will link you to the online full text of an article if UCB has paid for online access; otherwise, UC-eLinks will help you locate a print copy on the shelf in the library. If UCB doesn't own the article in print or online format, UC-eLinks can also help you order a copy from another library.

For more information, watch this video tutorial (about 4 min.)

You can also set up UC-eLinks to work with Google Scholar.  For more information, watch this 40-second demo.

Sample search terms

Your research will be on the 'big idea' of alternative worlds.  But the phrase 'alternative worlds' probably isn't a good search phrase.  So, what words should you search with? 

Start instead with the title of one of the texts you are writing about: utopia, the dispossessed, etc. Or use the name of the alternative world you are interested in: erewhon,  or even the more general terms utopia or distopia.

You will be looking in either the Oskicat catalog, or one of the literary database listed on this page [left column].

Read more

Proxy server

To use library databases from off campus you have to set up the proxy server: this changes your browser settings.

Databases To Start

You have access to hundreds of databases in specific disciplines.  Here are a few that work for almost any topic.

IT and New Media databases

For more possibilities, look at the Media Studies databases.

Where's the PDF?

Many article databases contain information about articles (citations or abstracts), not the entire text of the article.  Once you've used an article database to find articles on your topic, you may need to use this button:uc-eLinks button in order to locate and read the full text of the article. The UC-eLinks button appears in nearly all the databases available from the UCB Library website.

UC-eLinks will link you to the online full text of an article if UCB has paid for online access; otherwise, UC-eLinks will help you locate a print copy on the shelf in the library. If UCB doesn't own the article in print or online format, UC-eLinks can also help you order a copy from another library.

For more information, watch this video tutorial (about 4 min.)

You can also set up UC-eLinks to work with Google Scholar.  For more information, watch this 40-second demo.

Searching Library Catalogs

oskicat logo Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and  audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own.

melvyl logo

Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide. You can use the Request button to request an item from another library, if we don't own it.

Melvyl has changed as of January 2012, and now includes many more articles.  Detailed Melvyl help

Build and refine your search

Library catalogs and article databases offer several ways to narrow or broaden, or otherwise control your search.  Below are common methods; if they don't work, look for a "Help" link!

Most default to a quick keyword search (somewhat like Google) that assumes you want items containing all the words you type.

Example:
passions shakespeare

Most let you truncate a word with a wildcard symbol (usually * ) to get plurals and other variant forms.

Example: 
passion*
gets passion, passions, passionate

Most offer an Advanced Search with more options, such as searching on an author's name, or words in a title.

REFINING YOUR SEARCH
If your search retrieves too many items, use more specific terms, or put in additional keywords.

Example: 
eros shakespeare

gets fewer items than love shakespeare

Example: 
love poetry shakespeare

gets fewer items than love shakespeare

If your search gets too few items, use more general terms or remove some keywords.

You can also combine terms with OR to get more items.

Example: 
love OR eros
gets items containing either term.

FINDING RELATED ITEMS
In library catalogs and most article databases, click on the title of an interesting item and look in the detailed display for links (blue underlined text).  These may include the author's name, "Subjects" or "Subject headings".  Clicking on one of these links will do a search for items tagged the same way.

MANAGING RESULTS
Many catalogs and databases allow you to save items to a list/folder/etc. and e-mail, print or download the citation.  Some will allow you to output citations in a particular citation style (ex:  MLA or Chicago).

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is an easy way to do interdisciplinary research, and with some settings changes can become even more useful.  You need a Google account to use these features.

Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the left sidebar for the Create Alert link next to the envelope icon, and click it.  New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.

Open Scholar.  Click on the gear icon gear icon in the upper right corner, and choose 'scholar preferences'. In the next screen, choose Library Links from the left-hand menu. In the search box, type the word Berkeley.  Choose University of California, Berkeley - UC-eLinks, and Open Worldcat Search.

Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.

Formatting Citations

How to Avoid Plagiarism

In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when

Recommendations

 

This content is part of the Understanding Plagiarism tutorial created by the Indiana University School of Education.

Is it a scholarly source?

Your instructor wants you to use scholarly [or 'peer reviewed'] sources.  What does she mean?

Scholarship is always changing. Try to find the most recent scholarly sources you can.

 

Read more

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat


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If the librarian can't answer you well enough, your question will be referred to a Berkeley librarian for followup.

Have fun chatting.

All Questions Welcomed!

"There are no dumb questions!" student at reference desk

That's the philosophy of reference librarians, who are here to save you time and trouble. If you get stuck, you can talk to a reference librarian at any campus library

Research Advisory Service

Research Advisory Service for Cal Undergraduates

Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics (examples of research topics).

Schedule, view, edit or cancel your appointment online (CalNetID required)

This service is for Cal undergraduates only. Graduate students and faculty should contact the library liaison to their department or program for specialized reference consultations.

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