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ENWR 1510: Transatlantic Women Writers & Feminism

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

Preparing for Research

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, Film, & Performing Arts

The 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.
Literature Online The Criticism search includes ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature) and references from articles and books on English language and literature. Many cited journals are available in full text. Literature Online also includes the full text of many works from American and British literature.

Film & Television Literature Index
 includes reviews of films and articles on theory, preservation and restoration, writing, production, cinematography, and technical aspects of both film and television in the U.S. and internationally.
Performing Arts Periodicals Database Lists articles from scholarly and popular periodicals covering dance, film, television, theater, opera, stagecraft, broadcast arts, storytelling and more. Some journals include full text.
JSTOR includes older issues of scholarly journals, from the start to 3-5 years ago.
Project Muse provides full-text searching of recent articles from major scholarly journals, including roughly 120 journals about literature. Like JSTOR, Project Muse is not as comprehensive as the MLAIB, but offers the advantages of full-text searching and instant access to PDFs.

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

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. 

Biography & Biocritical Databases

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB) traces the lives and careers of selected authors, critics, screenwriters, journalists, scholars, and publishers from all eras and genres, with lists of recommended books and articles. Search for the author you want and choose the Biographies tab. The DLB link above will take you to Gale Literature, a larger collection where you can also find criticism, reviews, and more. 

Scribner's Writers Online includes brief biographies and critical studies of authors, mostly of literary works in English. 

Twayne Author Series includes full text of ca. 600 books on the lives and works of U.S. and international authors. Recommended books and articles.

Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles provides entries on authors' lives and writing careers, contextual material, timelines, sets of internal links, and bibliographies. Interacting with these materials creates a dynamic inquiry from any number of perspectives into centuries of women's writing.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) provides articles on the lives of British persons from the earliest times to the end of the 20th century. Note: We only have limited access so please close your browser when finished with this resource