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This is a research guide for English 109: Fiction Studies.

Reference Works

American Writers is a set of biographical and critical essays on American writers.  There is an original 5-volume set with several supplements. Located in Main Reference (Q.810.9 Am359 1974) and Undergrad Reference (PS21.E537 2004)

British Writers is a multi-volume set of introductions to British writers arranged in rough chronological order.  Located in Main Reference: call number 820.9 B7772

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature covers both authors and movements in literature written by Americans of different cultural heritages. The indexes list topics alphabetically, e.g., Harlem Renaissance, and also clustered by larger concepts, Social and Cultural Issues. Located at Oak Street and at Uni High Reference: call number 810.9 G8563

Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature covers both writers and literary topics.  Located in Main Reference: call number Q.810.3 Ox25. Also available online.

Literature Resource Center is an online article database which contains the following titles: Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism and Dictionary of Literary Biography for material on authors and their works.

Short Story Criticism is part of Literature Criticism Online and provides reprints of criticism essays from books and journals.  Available in Online Journals & Databases.

Main Reference contains many more bibliographies, biographies, lists and guides to genres, periods, and authors.  Please consult with the English Librarian if needed.


UIUC Library Collections

The UIUC Library's collections are organized according to both Library of Congress Classification and Dewey Decimal Classification. While many of the books you want will be in the Literatures and Languages Library, others will be in the Main Stacks. If you want to enter the Main Stacks and retrieve the books yourself, ask for a Stacks Pass at the Main Library Circulation Desk on the second floor. Otherwise, take the call numbers for the materials you need to the Main Stacks Circulation desk and place a request for the materials at the Circulation Desk.

NOTE: You may check bound periodicals from Stacks for same-day use in the building. Be sure to plan your use of these materials carefully to allow time to read the articles. Also, you will want to have a copy card (or I-Card) with money on it in order to make photocopies of the material you need.

Subject Searching in the Online Catalog

Examples of subject headings:

African Americans in Literature
Pynchon, Thomas. Crying of Lot 49
Sillitoe, Alan--Criticism and Interpretation
Working Class in Literature
Doctorow, E.L., 1931-  Ragtime
Historical Fiction, American--History and Criticism
Feminism and Literature--Canada--History--20th Century
Atwood, Margaret, 1939--Criticism and Interpretation

Journal Article Indexes

MLA International Bibliography indexes articles from over 3,000 scholarly journals, theses, proceedings, and books on literature, language and folklore. The coverage of books and theses is not as inclusive as it is for journal articles. Book reviews are not included. Covers 1963-present.  Available through the Literatures and Languages Library website and Online Journals & Databases.

EBSCO Academic Search Premier indexes articles from journals and magazines.  Searches can be restricted to scholarly journals.  EBSCO also includes the full-text of many journals of interest.  Available through the Literatures and Languages Library website's list of Online Resources.



A list of journals related to literature and literary studies can be found in the Periodicals Index on the Literatures and Languages Library website, with links to the full-text access when available.

Research Management

RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic management system that is free for all UIUC students, faculty, and staff to use. For instructions on how to use RefWorks, please visit the Library's main RefWorks page and further assistance is available on the RefWorks FAQ page.  RefWorks is accessed through Online Journals & Databases.


Evaluating Web Resources

The Duke Libraries' Guide to Library Research guides the student through the final part of the research process and stresses the importance of properly citing resources to avoid plagiarism.  It also offers strategies for assembling a list of resources.

Need More Help?

Contact Harriett Green, the English and Digital Humanities Librarian, by email at green19@illinois.edu, or visit the Literatures and Languages Library in room 225 of the Main Library.