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Research Guide: English 3400 - Teaching Literature

Finding Books

Using Catalogs: Use the WSU online catalog to find location and availability of books and other media in Stewart Library. Most of the books on literature and literary criticism are located in the General Collection under the call numbers PS and PR. Books on Education are found under the letter L.

Use WorldCat to find books in other libraries. Stewart Library Interlibrary Loan services will order for you.

Subject Searching: Useful Library of Congress Subject Headings may include: 

  • Education, Humanistic
  • Education -- Curriculum
  • English literature -- Study and teaching
  • Language and languages -- Study and teaching
  • Language arts -- Study and teaching
  • Literature - Study and teaching
  • Literature - History and criticism
  • Humanities -- Study and teaching
  • Reading
  • Reading comprehension
  • Young adult literature
  • Young adult drama
  • Young adult fiction
  • Young adult poetry

Electronic Books: 

From Bookstores: Order books online from Amazon Books or Barnes and Noble

Interlibrary Loan: If we do not own a particular book or article you need, we will borrow it for you from another library through Interlibrary Loan.

Reference Resources

Reference resources include encyclopedias, dictionaries and other materials you use to "refer" to. Use these resources for background information on a topic. For home or off campus access please use your student 88.... ID number. For home or off campus access please use your WSU Login.


  • Literature Resource Center - (Includes Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography and other materials) -  Literature Resource Center provides access to biographies, bibliographies and critical analysis of over 90,000 authors from every age and literary discipline. Search by Author Name, Title, Genre, Literary Movement or Literary Themes. A great place to start any literature research project or paper.
  • Biography Reference Bank - More than 46,000 full-text profiles of authors, artists, prizewinners, politicians, world leaders, musicians and more. Covers the Ancient World to the present.
  • EBSCOhost Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia - general online encyclopedia, similar to World Book.
  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • The Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes. Full text. Compiled from 1907 to 1921 contains 303 chapters 
  • Lit Finder - Find information on poems, short stories, plays and essays. Includes the full text of over 70,000 poems. 750,000 poems are indexed from all time periods.
  • National Center for Education Statistics - Primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data relating to education.


Listed below are some selected examples. Use the catalog or browse the shelves, under the PN to PT call numbers, to see many more reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, guides, companions, concordances, thesauri, etc.) on literature and literary criticism.

  • American Writers (Supplement) - Stewart Library, Main level, REF PS129.A55
  • Benet's Readers Encyclopedia - Reference PN41.B4 19
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism - Stewart Library, Main level, REF PN813.C6 96
  • Characters from Young Adult Literature
         Young People Reference - Lower Level North  028.55.S673c    1991
  • Encyclopedia of the Novel - Reference PN41.E487 1998 V.1-2
  • The Oxford Companion to African American Literature - Stewart library, Main level, REF PS153.N5 O96 1977
  • The Oxford Companion to English Literature (edited by Margaret Drabble) - Stewart Library, Main level, REF PR19.D73 1995
  • Reference Guide to World Literature - Reference PN524.R44 1995 V.1-2
  • Serving Adolescents' Reading Interests Through Young Adult Literature
         Curriculum Fastback - Lower Level North  370.1.F251 no.258
To find short stories, use The Short Story Index  on  Reference Table 3B - 1st Floor North (Z5917.S5C6) - covers short stories written in or translated into English that have appeared in collections and selected periodicals from 1950. Search by author, title or subject.



There are several good sources for book reviews they include:

  • Book Review Digest - Reviews of fiction and nonfiction in magazines and journals.  Search by author and publication date to find review excerpts and references to reviews in other publications. Available in print 1904 to present along East wall in Reference.

All of the article databases below can also be used to find book, short story, movie and play reviews and critical articles. 


Finding Articles


To find articles you need to use article databases, also known as periodical indexes. Each database usually covers a group of subject related journals. Search by author, title, subject or keyword in these indexes. For home or off campus access please use your WSU Login.

  • Arts & Humanities Search - Citations from many of the world's leading arts and humanities journals. 1980 - present, updates weekly. 
  • Academic Search Premier - Provides some full text articles in over a 4000 magazines and journals  
  • LexisNexis Academic - Full-text coverage of many newspapers from across the US and around the world.
  • Education Databases (EbscoHost) - includes ERIC
  • IIPA -- International Index to Performing Arts - Citations, abstracts and some full-text articles on all aspects of the performing arts including plays and playwrights.
  • JSTOR - Full text scholarly journals
  • Literature Resource Center This full text literature database is an excellent starting place for information on particular authors, titles, and genres.
  • MLA - MLA International Bibliography is usually the best index for researching literature and literary criticism topics. MLA provides article reference for articles in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore back to 1963. Updated ten times per year.
  • Masterplots - 12,000 entries covering world literature, ancient to modern day. Plot summaries, character profiles and author biographies. In Stewart Library use Ref Station #33. Ask for CD at Reference Desk. 


Current magazines and journals on literature and literary criticism can be browsed in the Current Periodicals Area, in the "P" section on the Main level. Bound volumes of older issues are found upstairs in the periodicals stacks. Current magazines and journals on Education are in the "L" section.


The library subscribes to many Electronic Journals. From this link you can search by title. Useful mainly after you have found a citation, to check to see if it might be available in full text.

Web Resources

Here are some WWW sites to get you started. Most of these will take you to other links, so explore!






  • Literary Awards - Links to many literary awards from
  • The Michael L. Printz Award - An award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.


  • First Lines - Test your knowledge! Read the first line, name the book.
  • Literary Traveler - Web magazine on places that have inspired works of

Research Tips

Updated December 29, 2008 .
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