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ENGL 431: Gothic America

Advice from Your English Liaison Librarian

Pro Tips:

  • Contact a librarian whenever questions arise. Quick questions can be answered via email; more in-depth questions can be handled best with an appointment.
  • Work on your project consistently each and every week, so that materials have time to arrive from other libraries and we can answer your questions when you still have sufficient time to thoughtfully revise your work.
  • Seek out a variety of sources: books, essays in books, journal articles.
  • Use a variety of search tools: Primo, multiple databases, sometimes even Google Scholar. If your topic is interdisciplinary, take a look at related subject guides to find broader research tools.
  • Keep careful notes on all of your sources and use a citation management tool such as RefWorks or Zotero. If an online knowledge management tool is not for you, make sure that any system that you do use is thorough.

Our Top Research Tactics

As experienced researchers, you all bring a wide range of skills and practices to your individual projects and our collective workspace. To guide our discussion and foster cooperative learning, we will collaboratively generate a list of our top research tactics (e.g. go-to tools, search strategies, methods for staying organized, etc.). This list will remain accessible for you to refer to it throughout the semester.

Add your Top 5 Research Tactics to the Padlet below! 

Before You Begin Researching

Some questions to think about before you dive in:

Primary Sources

  • Have you considered the full range of possible primary sources and only then selected the text?
  • Do you/will you have access to the primary source(s) in the editions you need?
  • Need help with identifying potential primary sources? Search Literature Resource Center and Gale Literature Criticism for lists of literary works.

Historical Sources

  • Who was reading what when? Issues of readership and reception may be important! Do you need access to these historical sources themselves?

Secondary sources

  • The MLA International Bibliography is the obvious subject database to search, but would it be helpful to also search the databases of other disciplines, specifically history and religion?

Critical/Theoretical Approaches

  • Will it be helpful to note reactions to various critical approaches? For example, will you need to look at reviews of scholarly books?