Who should use this guide?
If you’re a student at Connecticut College taking a course in the Literatures in English department, and you have a research assignment, then this guide is for you. If you’re a student—or a nonstudent—looking for general tips on doing research, then it may be useful too. So really, it's for everyone.
Why should I use this guide?
Probably the best reason to consider taking this guide’s advice is that it is likely to save you time. But it’s also likely to improve the quality of your research. This guide takes the top literature-related resources and tries to organize them so that you can access them efficiently. It also offers help with how to think about them and use them.
How should I use this guide? And what's in it?
To learn more about a specific topic, simply click on one of the various tabs that you see above (or click on the links below). The tabs are arranged from left to right in an order that corresponds to the ways in which researchers frequently access and use information resources:
- Getting a Background points you toward reference sources — print as well as online — that allow you to gain an overview of a topic, and that can help you to find relevant primary and secondary sources.
- Finding Articles links to the key databases that provide listings of articles of literary criticism — including, often, the full text of those very articles — and provides a few helpful tips for searching them.
- Locating Books tells you about the various catalogs you can search to find books and, like the Finding Articles page, it provides some insight into how to search for books within these catalogs.
- Using Primary Sources gives you some information about what primary sources are, how they differ from other kinds of sources, and how to find them.
- Navigating the Web displays links to some key Web sites that might be useful in doing literary research, and gives you some suggestions when you're trying to search for other sites on a specific topic. There's also some information about how to evaluate sites for their usefulness, relevance to your project, and credibility.
- Citing and Organizing directs you to tools, such as RefWorks, that help you keep track of the resources you've found and that help you cite them properly.
Who wrote this guide?
The guide was written by Fred Folmer. I'm a librarian at Shain, and one of my responsibilities is to serve as the liaison to the students and faculty of the Literatures in English Department. I am always very happy to meet for a research consultation; please email me or call me at 860-439-2272.