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Research Guide: English 6010/6020

Literature in Context & Foundations

Finding Books

Using Catalogs: Use the WSU Stewart Library online catalog to find location and availability of books and other media in Stewart Library. Most of the books on literature are located on level two of the library in the General Collection under the call numbers PJ to PZ, English and American Literature is found in PS and PR.

Use World Cat to find books in other libraries.  WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services. Search many libraries at once for an item and then locate it in a library nearby. Excellent online help is on each screen and see What is WorldCat for an introduction. For home or off campus access please use your WSU Login.


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 .

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

English literature -- History and Criticism

English literature -- Study and teaching

Literature - Study and teaching
Literature - History and criticism

Electronic Books: 

  • WSU has a subscription to about 3,000 titles available at Netlibrary.  Netlibrary also includes many titles in the public domain.  You may also use the WSU online catalog to find these books.

Reference Resources



Listed below are some selected examples of print resources available. 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. All reference titles listed below are on the Middle Level in the Reference area.

  • American Writers (Supplement) - PS129.A55
  • Benet's Readers Encyclopedia - PN41.B4 19
  • The Bloomsbury Guide to English Literature - PR19.B56W96 1990
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism - PN813.C6 96
  • Dictionary of National Biography (@1901-1961) - DA28.D542
  • Encyclopedia of the Novel - PN41.E487 1998 V.1-2
  • The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism - PN81.J554 1994
  • The Oxford Companion to African American Literature - PS153.N5 O96 1977
  • The Oxford Companion to English Literature (edited by Margaret Drabble) PR19.D73 1995
  • Reference Guide to World Literature - Reference PN524.R44 1995 V.1-2
  • The Wellesley index to Victorian Periodicals , 1824-1900 / Walter E. Houghton, editor. Special Collections, Top Level, Dewey Call # - 052H838w (WSU owns V.1 & V.5 only)

Short Stories: To find short stories , use The Short Story Index is in the general collection, top level, PN 3375 - 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.
  • Books in Print with Reviews   - Some full text reviews. 
  • - Search for a book by author or title, scroll down to see both editorial reviews and review excerpts from major publications and customer reviews from interested readers.
  • Barnes & Noble - B&N tends to have better editorial/published reviews than Amazon.
  • The New York Times Book Reviews - Search the books archive for full text book reviews and news since 1996. Children's Books - list of those reviewed by The New York Times since January 1997, arranged alphabetically by author: 
  • Multicultural Book Review Home page - age appropriate information on many multicultural titles

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 on your topic you need to use article databases, also known as periodical indexes. Each database usually covers a group of subject related journals. Search by subject or keyword in these indexes. Most indexes are available from off campus. 

  • MLA - Modern Language Association (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. See the Guide to Using MLA.
    • Most of the article references in MLA are NOT full text
    • To get the full text of articles use the following steps:
      1. Click on the Find Full text link to see if we have access to the journal in another database.
      2. IF NOT - order the article from an other library through Interlibrary Loan using the Illiad System form. Articles ordered through Iterlibrary loan usually arive in several days.  Many are in electronic format. 
  • Academic Search Premier - Provides many full text articles in important journals & magazines in all fields. 
  • Arts & Humanities Search - Citations from many of the world's leading arts and humanities journals. 1980 - present, updates weekly. 
  • 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 -  A group of full-text journals in many subjects, including literature. Dates of coverage vary. 


Current magazines and journals 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.


Check the Ejournals Database to know:

  • if we have access to a specific journal in full text online or in print
  • which journals are indexed in which databases and when 

Examples of some ejournal titles we have access to include:

Project Muse - search full text online journals including

  • English Literary History
  • Yale Journal of Criticism
  • The Journal of Modern Literature
  • Modern Fiction Studies
  • Modernism/Modernity
  • The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies
  • Diacritics
  • American Literary History
  • American Literary Scholarship
  • American Literature
  • Journal of Modern Literature
  • Manoa
  • Modern Fiction Studies
  • Resources for American Literary Study
Other Ejournals


Web Resources

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

META SITES - British


META SITES - American




  • Comics Research Bibliography- " This is an international bibliography of comic books, comic strips, animation, caricature, cartoons, bandes dessinees, and related topics."
  • International Association for the Study of Popular Romance - "The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance is dedicated to fostering and promoting the scholarly exploration of all popular representations of romantic love."
  • The Writers Guild of America - The official Web site of the Writers Guild of America, with information on screen writing for film, television, and  interactive projects. It includes writing tips, research links, and script pages.
  • World War One Poets - A series of wonderful hyperlinked seminars from Oxford University
  • The Orlando Project - The Orlando Project is a collaborative undertaking for writing the first full scholarly history of women's writing in the British Isles
  • Post Colonial Web - From the National University of Singapore


Research Tips

Updated June 17, 2010 . Please send comments to Kathy Payne.
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