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ENLT 2100: Introduction to Literary Studies

Professor Tucker · Fall 2018

Using the library catalog

VIRGO, the U.Va. Library’s primary search tool, contains catalog records for books, print journals, DVDs, maps, and digitized materials, as well as links to online articles from our rich array of subscription journals.  A few hints:

  • If you're new to Virgo, this quick two-minute video will show you the basics.  If you find that video helpful, check out the others on our Teaching and Learning page.
  • For the most effective searches, limit to Catalog Results or Article Results to reveal the facets that can limit your search by format, date, language, subject, geographic location, etc.
  • When viewing the record for an item that is checked out, click on the Request Item button to initiate a recall.  The book will be returned within 10 days, and you will be notified when to pick it up.
  • When viewing the record for an item that is located in our off-Grounds Ivy Stacks, click on the Request from Ivy button to retrieve it.  Within 48 hours, it will be delivered to the library you specify. 

Best sources for literary research

The MLA International Bibliography (MLAIB) indexes the broadest range of resources about literature in all languages, including over 4,000 journals as well as books and dissertations.  It is not a full-text resource, meaning that you can only search the description of an article, rather than the text of the article.  To get the full text of an article, click on “Find article @ UVa Libraries”, or look up the journal title in VIRGO.

Literature Resource Center (LRC) includes full text articles from the Dictionary of Literary Biography and Contemporary Authors – terrific sources for author biographies. It also includes other types of resources -- scholarly articles, reviews, interviews, snippets from reference works, etc.

Sources for general research (more authoritative)

ProQuest Historical Newspapers is a searchable archive of mainstream US newspapers, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, as well as prominent black newspapers like the Chicago Defender. Useful for current events, cultural and political commentary, advertisements, etc.

Factiva contains articles from thousands of newspapers and is updated daily, making it the best source for very current news. 

Academic Search Complete is a large general database of articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers on many topics. It also includes reference books (World Almanac, American Heritage Dictionary), biographies, speeches, images, and other primary source documents.

The Oxford English Dictionary is useful not just for definitions and etymology, but for quotations demonstrating the usage of words and phrases over time.

US Youth Soccer is the official website of the organization and is the most authoritative source for basic information about the sport.

Sources for general research (less authoritative)

Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia written by volunteers. Often excellent, but verify facts and opinions before using them. Also versions in other languages.

YouTube is a video-sharing site and the second most popular website in the world.

Google Images provides access to millions of images on the Web.

The Urban Dictionary is a wiki-style dictionary that uses crowdsourcing to document current slang, including profanity and slurs. Use with caution.

The social media platforms mentioned in The Wolves (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are also great sources for documenting cultural references.

Citing your sources

The MLA Handbook (8th ed.) provides detailed instructions for using the MLA style and citation format. Available in print only, but there's a companion website that is also helpful.

Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide provides basic information on using MLA style in research papers, including examples of in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.