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Links From Our Session

Journal Articles

In our session, we focused on the MLA International Bibliography for finding journal articles. But you can also find full-text, peer-reviewed articles from academic journals in the following databases (among others):


Search Strategies

Finding journal articles in an online database is always easier if you work out a useful strategy.

Subject Searching

In our discussion of the MLA International Bibliography, we focused on using the "Names as Subjects" feature to narrow results in addition to the various limiters the interface allows us to add as we do our search. Two similar features in The Literature Resource Center are the "Person Search" and the "Works Search."  Project MUSE also allows you to limit your search by browsable subject headings. While JSTOR doesn't offer an analogous feature, it is worth noting that it's most useful when you limit by discipline to "Language & Literature," which can be done through the advanced search screen.

Keyword Searching

You want to be sure that your keywords are clear and precise. You can find inspiration for good keywords in:

Working from a citation

Once you've found a critical work on your topic or a closely related topic—a book, an article, an encyclopedia, etc.—look through the included bibliography or works cited list for titles that might be relevant and useful to your paper. 

If your citation is a journal article, use either the library's Journal/Article Locator or search the Online Journals & Databases database to see if we have a full-text electronic version.

If the journal is not available online and/or if your citation is for a book, search the library's online catalog for a print copy. 

Still can't get your hands on it?  Search the I-Share catalog for a print copy to be sent via the I-Share process.  Make sure to leave plenty of time for I-Share books to arrive (often 7 days or more).


Articles in Books

Another useful way to find articles for your paper is to look in the online catalog.  There, you'll find:


Search Strategies

Finding books in the online catalog can be a very similar process to finding an article in one of the online databases, and rewards similar strategies in terms of coming up with the right keywords. You might even find that some keywords will work for both searches.  The biggest difference is in how subject searching works. 

Subject Headings

When a book is published, libraries assign it subject headings from a standardized list. This makes it easier for you feel confident that all books on a certain topic are listed under the same heading. Once you find a good subject heading, you can find several books on your topic. You can find a subject heading in the online catalog by:

One particularly good heading for this paper is Morrison, Toni--Criticism and interpretation.


RefWorks makes it easy to keep track of your citations as you do your research.  With its Write-N-Cite feature, it even takes out the last-minute hassle of adding your citations to your paper.