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Graduate Research in English Literary Studies

For graduate students engaged in Literary studies research.

Tools for Managing Research

General Searching Tips

Know Your Sources!

All databases are not the same. The contents differ, but so too do the organization and searching options.

Note the amount and type of searchable text. In JSTOR, you can search the full text of an article; in MLAIB, you can search only the citation and the subject headings. Use these differences to find the kind of information you need:

  • Use the full-text searching in JSTOR to find obscure information buried in a text.
  • Consult the thesaurus in MLAIB to find general terms that will be more inclusive than keywords.
  • Note that LION includes the option of full-text searching, though the database includes only limited full text.

Don't settle for a bad results. Refine the search or adjust the results.

  • Use the sorting options to reorder your results according to date or relevance.
  • Use limits to refine a search that yields too many or irrelevant results.
  • Experiment with different keywords.

Keywords for Textual History

Use these subject keywords to find existing information on your text:

  • Text
  • Textual History
  • Textual Criticism
  • Textual Scholarship
  • Textual Editing
  • Publication History
  • Publishing History
  • Genetic Criticism
  • Editions
  • Bibliography
  • Manuscripts
  • Sources

Find information in your author's letters or journals by searching these keywords:

  • Correspondence
  • Letters
  • Journals
  • Diaries

Find reference books that may include publication information by searching these words:

  • Companion
  • Handbook
  • Dictionary
  • Encyclopedia
  • Guide

See the MLA Thesaurus for additional terms.