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ENWR 1510: Writing About Feminism, Diversity, and Community Engagement

Research guide for students in Indu Ohri's Fall 2020 ENWR 1510 classes.

Preparing for Research

This guide was created to help you prepare for your second essay research for ENWR 1510 and as a general guide to resources related to feminism, diversity, and community engagement.  

In preparation for your research paper you hopefully have thought some about possible questions to start your research. You will also want to spend some time thinking about how you will conduct your research. 

  • 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 ("The Yellow Wallpaper" AND feminism) and OR (woman OR female OR lady OR girl). 
    In many databases, the asterisk (*) is a truncation or "wildcard" symbol  that will match all possible endings for a word stem.  For example, sex* will match sexism, sexual, sexuality, sexualize, 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 an e-book? An article? A newspaper? A documentary? 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 item to find other items on similar topics.Scholarly books and articles will have works cited, bibliographies, or footnotes you can mine for additional resources. 

Need help? Ask a librarian.  

Databases for Finding Articles about Literature

Databases for Researching Literature  (See an A-Z list of all databases

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.

ProQuest One Literature  is for scholars who want to engage with an exhaustive and diverse set of scholarly resources around a given literary topic for research. It contains 3 million literature citations from thousands of journals, monographs, dissertations, and more than 500,000 primary works – including rare and obscure texts, multiple versions, and non-traditional sources like comics, theater performances, and author readings.

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.

Databases for finding Articles and Primary Sources for Broader Context

Women's Studies International allows you to find journal articles, books, conference proceedings, reports, theses & dissertations, documents and other materials on all aspects of women's studies

Race Relations Abstracts focuses on the relationship between and among races. This resource includes abstracting for the top academic journals, books, periodicals and newspapers in the field.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 is a resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, this collection includes 108 document projects and archives with almost 4,300 documents and more than 150,000 pages of additional full-text documents, written by more than 2,200 primary authors. It also includes book, film, and website reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools.

Women and Social Movements International, 1840 to Present  is a collection of primary materials. Through the writings of women activists, their personal letters and diaries, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made, this collection lets you see how women’s social movements shaped much of the events and attitudes that have defined modern life.

Humanities International Complete indexes over 2000 journals as well as books and other publications. Topics covered include archaeology, art, dance, drama, ethnic and women's studies, history, literature, music, philosophy, poetry, religion. 

Academic Search Complete is a large general database of articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers on many topics. Also includes reference books, biographies, speeches, images, and other primary source documents. 

Finding books & 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, set the Availability filter to Online to limit your catalog search results. 

Example subject terms 

  • Feminism and Literature
  • Feminist Literary Criticism
  • Sex Roles in Literature
  • Women and Literature
  • Women in Mass Media 
  • Women's Rights in Literature

Example Ebooks of Interest