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Explore & Refine Your Research Question
Background resources give you a general overview of your topic that will help you learn about concepts, vocabulary, and formative events related to your texts. Understanding these basic building blocks will make it easier to define a research question and build good keyword searches to search for critical analysis in the Catalog, databases, and indexes. Here are some good places to start:
  • 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.
  • Routledge Concise History of Latino/a Literature (Taylor & Francis, 2013) ebook. Click on the EBL E-Book link to view.
  • Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature (Routledge, 2013). Tip: Use Google preview in the catalog record to search for your author/book. Check out the book at the Benson Latin American Collection.
  • American National Biography. Find detailed biographical sketches of and detailed publication history for American authors.
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography. Find outlines of authors' careers including bibliographies and connections with historical events.
  • Catalog. Find contextual resources by using Keyword Search to search for encyclopedias or bibliographies. For example: (latina* OR latino*) NEAR literat* AND (encyclo* OR bibliogr*).
Advanced Research Tips
Check out the search tools for your database or index; these are usually found behind a help link, a question mark box, or a gear image.
  • Look for *, ?, "", AND/OR/NOT, W/5 or WITHIN 5 or NEAR, BEFORE, etc.
  • Think of your search terms like math equations: "teaching or teachers and literature" will not bring back the same results as "(teaching or teachers) and literature"
Use InterLibrary Services to borrow from other libraries materials we don't have.
Use clipboard, folder, or similar functions to hold onto citations and send them to yourself.
Use RSS feed options to keep you updated on material additions that fit your search.
Use citation buttons to export citations in the correct style.
Find Critical Analysis
What fields relate to your research question? Check out the Databases by Subject
www.lib.utexas.edu > Research Tools > Find Articles Using Databases > Databases by Subject

The catalog search, databases, and indexes listed below, in addition to others, include relevant resources for you:
  • Catalog. See search tips at the bottom of the Advanced Search page. Tip: Try a keyword search like this one: "how the garcia girls lost" AND (critic* OR edit* OR bibliog*)
  • Chicano Database.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch. Tip: In your results list, click on Scholarly Journals in the right side menu.
  • Fuente Académica. Look for analysis of Latino/a Novels from the perspective of journals published in Latin America and Spain. Most are Spanish-language publications, and some also have English-language translations.
  • Literature Online. Tip: Choose "Criticism and Reference" in the left sidebar and select the "Criticism" tab to expand your search options.
  • Literature Resource Center. Tip: In the results list, choose the "Literature Criticism" tab to limit to critical analyses.
  • MLA International Bibliography.
  • WorldCat. Search print and electronic material we may not own, then request that material through InterLibrary Services: www.lib.utexas.edu > Choose the "Catalog" tab > Click the "WorldCat" link at the bottom left of the box. Tip: Search WorldCat through the UT Libraries site to link directly to InterLibrary Services. Check out WorldCat search tips: WorldCat Help > Searching > Search Guidelines

Where is the article, chapter, or book?

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.
Get Help
Contact the course librarian:

Kristen Hogan

IM a Librarian
Monday-Thursday, 10am - midnight
Friday, 10am - 4pm
Sunday, 6pm - midnight
Research Skills Refreshers
Need a refresher on basic research skills? Check out the UT Libraries resources for undergraduates: www.lib.utexas.edu > Resources for You > Undergraduates

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