Skip to Main Content

ENGL 2599: Medieval Romance: Beyond King Arthur

Course guide for students in Austin Benson's Spring 2024 ENGL 2599 class.

Library Research

This guide was created to help you prepare for your research into medieval romance. 

Both your annotated bibliography assignment and final paper will require research. In preparation, you  will want to start thinking some about possible questions/topics of interest related to one or more of the works you have read. You will also want to spend some time thinking about how you will conduct your research when the time comes. 

  • Fine-tune your searches.
    Think broadly when brainstorming search terms. What synonyms or related terms could stand in for your key search terms?
    You can combine search terms using AND ("La Chanson de Roland"  AND women) and OR ("middle ages" OR "medieval period")
    In many databases, the asterisk (*) is a truncation or "wildcard" symbol  that will match all possible endings for a word stem.  For example, hero* will match hero, heroes, heroism, heroics, heroin, etc. 
    Most databases have filters or facets that allow you to narrow your results by subject, date range, etc. Limit your searches to help you find the sources you need. 

  • Think about where you might find the type of information you are seeking.
    Will you find the research you need in a print book or e-book? A journal article? A magazine? A newspaper? An interview? Cast a wide net when looking for the types of resources that could help answer your research question or support an argument you are making. 

  • Know the difference between academic and non-academic sources, and when it's appropriate to use them.
    Most databases allow you to limit results to academic/scholarly/peer-reviewed sources. Be mindful of your assignment and what you're being asked to provide. Need a refresher? Watch the short video Peer Review in 3 Minutes.

  • When you find a good source, use it to find other good sources. 
    Use the subject terms and keywords associated with an article or essay to find other articles and essays on similar topics. Scholarly essays and journal articles will have works cited, bibliographies, or footnotes you can mine for additional resources. 

Need help? Ask a librarian.  

Finding articles

MLA International Bibliography (MLAIB) indexes the broadest range of resources about literature in all languages, as well as film, television, and popular culture, including over 4,000 journals as well as books and dissertations. For articles not available full-text in MLA, click on “Find article @ UVa Libraries,” or look up the journal title in Virgo, the library catalog.

International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) lists articles from books and journals on any topic relating to the European Middle Ages (ca. 400-1500) 

JSTOR includes older issues of scholarly journals in many disciplines including literature, from the start to 3-5 years ago.

Project Muse offers searchable full text of nearly 600 scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics, mostly from North American university presses. Older volumes are often available from JSTOR.

Google Scholar is useful for finding scholarly articles, books, and websites. It can also be useful for seeing who has cited an article or essay after it was published. 

Finding book essays & articles using Virgo

Virgo, the UVA 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. You can search catalog materials and articles together, or view those results separately, using the facets provided to limit your results by author, format, publication period, and more.  To find online content, use Filter Results By (on the left) and choose Online.

Example subject terms of possible interest: 

Print books and Ebooks of possible interest

For fun - Digital Collections