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English 212

Resources and advice for writing the ENG 212 paper.

A Note on Reference Resources

Reference resources can help you begin to develop an approach to the work you want to write about, but they are not meant to be used as sources in a research paper. Despite this, we recommend beginning the research process by consulting reference works. Good reference works will help the reader to 

  • Understand what has been written about a work previously. Is your interpretation of the work common? Will your paper provide a unique perspective? Is your point of view controversial?
  • Refine database searches by providing accurate, topic-specific keywords.
  • Find original or secondary research to support your argument. Good reference works provide a bibliography with highly-regarded sources.

Ultimately, reference sources help to reduce the amount of time it takes to research a topic. By condensing some of the information into a short article, the researcher quickly gains an understanding of the topic.

Best Bets for British Literature

While there are many helpful reference resources, both online and in the library itself, these "best bet" reference resources are a good starting point for your research.

British Novels and Novelists

  • Drabble, Margaret, editor. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford University Press, 2000.
    REF 820.9 Ox2 2000
  • Kastan, David Scott, editor. The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. Oxford University Press, 2006.
    REF 820.3 Ox2
  • Magill, Frank N., editor. Critical Survey of Long Fiction [multi-volume series]. Salem Press, 1983.
    REF 809.3 M272
  • Ousby, Ian, editor. The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge Press, 1992.
    REF 820.9 C144
  • Rollyson, Carl, editor. Notable British Novelists. Salem Press, 2001.
    REF 820.9 N843 2001
  • Scribner’s British Writers [multi-volume series]. Charles Scribner and Sons, 1984-.
    REF 820.9 B777

British Poetry

  • Drabble, Margaret, editor. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford University Press, 2000.
    REF 820.9 Ox2 2000
  • Kastan, David Scott, editor. The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. Oxford University Press, 2006.
    REF 820.3 Ox2
  • Magill, Frank N., editor. Critical Survey of Poetry [multi-volume series]. Salem Press, 1982.
    REF 821.009 C869
  • Magill, Frank. N., editor. Masterplots II: Poetry Series [multi-volume series]. Salem Press, 1992.
    REF 809.1 M393PO
  • Ousby, Ian, editor. The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge Press, 1992.
  • Padgett, Ron, editor. World Poets. Scribners, 2000.
    REF 809.1 W893 2000
  • Scribner’s British Writers [multi-volume series]. Charles Scribner and Sons, 1984-.
    REF 820.9 B777

British Short Stories

  • Drabble, Margaret, editor. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford University Press, 2000.
    REF 820.9 Ox2 2000
  • Kastan, David Scott, editor. The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. Oxford University Press, 2006.
    REF 820.3 Ox2
  • Magill, Frank N., editor. Critical Survey or Short Fiction [multi-volume series]. Salem Press, 1981.
    REF 809.3 C869
  • ​Magill, Frank. N., editor. Masterplots II: British and Commonwealth Fiction Series [multi-volume series]. Salem Press, 1987.
    REF 809.1 M393BR
  • Ousby, Ian, editor. The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge Press, 1992.
    REF 820.9 C144
  • Scribner’s British Writers [multi-volume series]. Charles Scribner and Sons, 1984-.
    REF 820.9 
    B777

Where to Find Other Works by a Given Author

The written assignment for this course suggests comparing a work to other works by the author. Depending on how prolific or notable the author is, there may be several works by the author not present in the Norton Anthology of English Literature. The following resources can help you locate these works.

 

Best Bet: LitFinder through EBSCO A-Z

LitFinder is an online reference resource that provides author bibliographies, summaries of works, and over 135,000 full-text poems, short stories, and plays. 

 

Author Bibliographies

Note: the print Reference sources listed above are likely to contain author bibliographies.

Authors from the late 20th century may have official websites where a bibliography will be present. A good example is Salman Rushdie's website.

 

Locating Works in the Public Domain (through 1923)

  • Project Gutenberg - A comprehensive resource with numerous poetry collections, short story compilations, and novels. 
  • Europeana - A collection of digital objects, including e-books and manuscripts, from museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions across Europe. The British Library and the Oxford University are major contributors.
  • Poetry Foundation - A major repository of poetry. Includes some content from the Modern and Postmodern eras. 
  • Open Library - Part of Internet Archive, this website contains many digitized books, including some modern/contemporary works.