- Break your research question into key concepts (you'll connect these in your paper to make an original argument).
- For each of these concepts, brainstorm multiple keywords.
women's relationship to marriage in Much Ado about Nothing
Much Ado about Nothing
"Much Ado about Nothing"
- Try this keyword tool to brainstorm online and send the results to yourself.
2. Combine keywords using AND and OR:
- Too many results? Try using quotation marks around an exact phrase. Ex: "Much Ado about Nothing"
- Still too many results? Narrow using AND. Ex: "Much Ado about Nothing" AND marriage*
- Too few results? Broaden using OR. Ex: "Much Ado about Nothing" AND (marriage* OR marital* OR wife* OR wives OR husband*)
- Put parentheses around synonyms.
- The asterisk finds multiple endings. Ex: wom* will bring back women, woman, women's, woman woman's, wombat, etc.
3. Brush up on the search tools available:
Use the Advanced Keyword search to search for title keywords including types of reference sources.
For example: t:shakespeare AND t:(encyclopedia OR dictionary OR guide)
You'll find sources like these:
- Dictionary of Shakespeare, Stanley Wells (Oxford University Press, 2005): Print & eBook
- Pronouncing Shakespeare's Words (guide to each play), Dale Coye (Taylor & Francis, 2003): Print & eBook
- Women in Shakespeare: A Dictionary, Alison Findlay (Continuum, 2010): Print & eBook
- All Things Shakespeare: An Encyclopedia of Shakespeare's World, Kirstin Olsen (Greenwood, 2002)
- The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels, Richard Paul Roe (Harper Perennial, 2011)
Search Reference Databases:
Find Reference Databases from
Libraries homepage > Research Tools > Reference Sites, or
English Literature Research Guide > Reference Tools.
You'll find sources like these:
- Gale Virtual Reference Library - a collection of articles from hundreds of specialized encyclopedias
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - the most trusted source of biographical information about important figures in British and colonial history; Tip: try searching for "much ado about nothing" in full text to see biographies of those who have acted in and produced Much Ado about Nothing since Shakespeare's writing
- Academic Search Complete - scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers
- Project Muse - scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers
- JSTOR - scholarly journals, many retrospective (older)
- Film Studies - Film and Television Literature Index
- Literature - MLA International Bibliography
- Psychology - PsycINFO
- Shakespeare - World Shakespeare Bibliography Online - Tip: This has citations only. To find the full essay, article or book, search for the title in quotation marks in the All tab on the Libraries home page.
- Theatre and Dance - International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text
Find an Article from a Citation:
- If you find a good book or article, check the bibliography for other useful resources. This guide helps you find an article when you only have the citation.
Where is the article?
- If an article is not full-text in the database you are searching, follow the link to see if it is available in another database or in print in the library.
- No button? Search for the article, chapter, or book title in quotation marks in the All tab on the Libraries home page. Or search for the journal or book title in the Library Catalog title search.
- Not in the Catalog? Ask for help or request it through InterLibrary Services.
Find Books on a Topic:
- To find books on your topic, start with the keyword search in the catalog. (ex: Shakespeare AND "Much Ado" AND (wom* OR gender* OR feminis*))
- When you find a useful book, use the Subject Headings or other terms in the record in your keyword search to find more books on that same topic (ex: Shakespeare AND lovesick*)
Find a SpecificBook/Book by an Author:
- Do an Author search with the last name first (ex: Shakespeare, William)
- Do a Title search leaving off the initial article (a/an/the) (ex: "Much Ado about Nothing")
- NoodleTools (NoodleBib) (formats bibliographies for you)
- Guide to Citing Sources
- All About Plagiarism (tutorial)
- Undergraduate Writing Center
- MLA Handbook for Writer's of Research Papers, 7th ed., LB 2369 G53 2009 - numerous copies in PCL
- A Research Guide for Undergraduate Students: English and American Literature, 6th ed., PR 56 B34 2006, PCL Stacks
English Literature &
Women's & Gender Studies Librarian
English Literature Research Guide
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Monday-Thursday, 10am - midnight
Friday, 10am - 4pm
Sunday, 6pm - midnight
Visit/Call PCL Research Help & Check Out Desk: