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Find Background Information
Background Information can save you tons of time by giving a big-picture, general overview of your topic that will help you learn about concepts, vocabulary, and formative events related to your texts. Understanding these basic buidling blocks will make it easier to define a research question and build good keyword searches to use in other databases. Here are some good places to start:
  • Cambridge Histories Online. Search histories including Cambridge Histories of Literary Criticism: Vol. 1, Classical Criticism, Ancient History, Classical Literature, and more.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library. Search 100+ subject encyclopedias online to build your understanding of the historical, cultural, and formal context of a work.
  • Oxford Reference. Search a range of entries from specialized, including literary, encyclopedias from Oxford University Press. Try searching the name of your text or the publisher of your text.
Brainstorm and Use Keywords
1. How can you make the best use of your time and find the best materials? 
Start by identifying the different threads in your research question. For each of these threads, brainstorm multiple keywords, including synonyms and related terms. This keyword tool lets you brainstorm online and send the results to yourself.

2. Use search strategies to combine and use these keywords.
Combine keywords using AND and OR:
  • AND narrows your search by looking for articles with all of the words. For example: epic AND feminist
  • OR broadens your search by looking for articles with any of the words. For example: epic OR prophetic OR classical
  • Use "quotation marks" to search for a phrase. For example: "epic poetry"
  • Use (parentheses) to include variations on a single part or your search. For example: (epic OR prophetic) AND feminist
Try truncating words and using a wildcard* (often the asterisk) to find multiple endings. For example, searching for wom* will bring back woman, woman's, women, and women's... and also wombat. Be strategic about how you use this to define your search.

3. Brush up on the search strategies available in the resource you are using!
Find Articles, Books, & Chapters
The databases/indexes listed here include information relevant to your research.
Find more databases and indexes: www.lib.utexas.edu > Research Tools > Find Articles Using Databases > Databases by SubjectEnglish Literature (Also check out the subjects: Art & Art History, Classics, and Theatre.


Find an Article from a Citation. You may find a record for a good book, chapter, or article without connection to the full text, or you may check the bibliography of a good source for other useful resources. This guide helps you find an article when you only have the citation.

Where is the article?

If the Catalog, database, or index record you have located does not link to the full article or book, click the button to see if the full text is available electronically or, if you are not already in the Catalog, in print in the library. No
button? Copy the name of the journal or book and search for it in the Library Catalog title search. Not in the Catalog? Ask for help or request it through InterLibrary Services.
Evaluate Sources
Use these grids and decision trees to choose the best sources.
Write & Cite
Cite Your Sources:  A grid to help you choose the right citation tool and help using them.  Includes information about NoodleBib, which helps you format APA, MLA and Chicago style bibliographies you can download as Word documents and turn in.

Undergraduate Writing Center:  drop in or make an appointment to visit with a trained writing consultant.
Get Help
Contact the course librarian:

Kristen Hogan
hogank@austin.utexas.edu

IM a Librarian
 
Monday-Thursday, 10am - midnight
Friday, 10am - 4pm
Sunday, 6pm - midnight
Build Your Research Skills
Need to build your research skills? Check out the UT Libraries resources for undergraduates.
www.lib.utexas.edu > Resources for You > Undergraduates

Find text and videos to help you when you need to:
Find Background Information
Generate Keywords
Find Articles
Find Books
& More
Find Books Video Tutorial
 
Find Articles Video Tutorial