Welcome to MacOdrum's Library course guide for students taking ENGL 1009A.
- Students will find information from appropriate resources for their blog posts and research papers.
- Students properly cite appropriate document sources (for example primary and secondary materials)
- Students evaluate information sources for relevance, authority, currency and perspective using the CRAAP guidelines.
We [I] would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people.
* NEW * Videos and resources produced by Ryan Tucci, First Year Experience Teaching and Learning Technician at MacOdrum Library.
Researching Your Topic
Here are some recommended databases to get you started on your research:
- Gale Virtual Reference Library
– A database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research.
- MLA International Bibliography
– Provides citations and abstracts to articles and other written materials on international literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore.
- Literature Resource Center
– This database provides Full-text articles from scholarly journals are combined with critical essays, biographies, and more to provide information on authors, their works, and literary movements.
- Oxford Reference (Online)
– Oxford Reference is the premier online reference product, spanning 25 different subject areas, bringing together 2 million digitized entries across Oxford University Press’s Dictionaries, Companions and Encyclopedias.
Find Journal Articles
Below are a few interdisciplinary databases you can access to locate academic and scholarly peered reviewed.
- Academic OneFile
– A multidisciplinary database providing access to journals with extensive coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature, and other subject.
- Project MUSE
– A collection of scholarly journals in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
– Digital library of academic journals, books and primary sources.
Scholarly Sources... Are you still wondering if your journal article is scholarly? Check in Ulrichsweb to be sure!
Some Other Suggestions;
Consult reference books, such as handbooks or guides for information concerning how to research your topic. :
Example: Guide to Literary Research, Writing and Critical Reading (EBSCO)
The Craft of Research by Wayne C. Booth (2016) (2008 : Limited (search only) at HathiTrust; Online;
Use Concept maps to organize, and craft creative ideas. Concept mapping can help you narrow your topic and find related terminology to use in a search query string:
- VUE (Visual Understanding Environment) (Tufts University)
- See Concept mapping (Royal Roads University) for other mapping tools
Use reference materials such as bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and guides to locate relevant information on a topic.
Suggested Reference Resources:
- Cambridge Companion to...
Handbooks dedicated to single authors or literary movements. Best to use keywords to narrow the results
- Postcolonial Literatures in Context by Julie Mullaney (2010)
- Key Concepts in Literary Theory by Julian Wolfreys et. al. (2016)
- An Introduction to Literary Studies by Mario Klarer (2004)
- A Dictionary of Contemporary World History by Riches, Christopher(2016)
- A Dictionary of Critical Theory by Buchanan, Ian (2018)
- A Dictionary of World History by Oxford University Press (2006-)
In the study of English literature, the actual text is the primary source.
Use Omni, our discovery layer to locate the book/eBook, graphic novel, poem, etc.. Select Title and under Material Type, select Books from the drop down menu. . Select the author (if known) and type the title in the search box.
Primary Sources (Books)
Listed below are the novels to be studied:
- Things Fall Apart / Chinua Achebe (Internet Archive)
- A Small Place / Jamaica Kincaid (Internet Archive)
- The Complete Persepolis / Marjane Satrapi (Internet Archive)
- East, West / Salman Rushdie (Internet Archive)
- Naomi / Junichero Tanizaki (Internet Archive)
Primary Sources (Databases)
- Project Gutenberg E-Books
- provides access to the first and largest collection of free electronic books
- Times Digital Archives (1785-1985)
Tip: click on Gale Primary Sources to cross-search with The Sunday Times, Times Literary Supplement, and Illustrated London News.
Primary Sources (Internet Resources)
- The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
This is a search portal for freely-available digital collections gathered from libraries, museums, and archives around the United States.
- HathiTrust Digital Library
This digital repository provides content from some of the United States' largest research libraries to share with its partner members.
- Internet Archive
"Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more."
- Library of Congress Digital Collections
Contains access to digitized American historical materials and includes images, maps, manuscripts, prints, photographs, etc.
- World Digital Library
"The WDL makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures,"
What is an Annotated Bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is an alphabetic list of research resources that includes an annotation (a description and/or brief critique) for each item. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the substance, relevance and quality of each source. Annotations appear after each item in the bibliography.
Annotations do not affect the citation style. Therefore, use APA, MLA, Chicago, or another citation style of your choice in the same way you would when preparing a normal bibliography.
What should each annotation include?
An annotation is a paragraph which may contain the following points:
- information about the author, his/her qualifications
- main arguments and purpose of the work
- intended audience and level of difficulty
- the work's main recommendations or conclusions
- your critique/assessment of the work (describing biases, integrity, and usefulness of the work for your essay)
- your instructor may also request that specific information be included/excluded, so check with him/her or your TA if you are unsure
McNab, David T. "Who is on Trial? Teme-Augama Anishnabai Land Rights and George Ironside, Junior: Re-Considering Oral Tradition." Canadian Journal of Native Studies [Canada] 18.1 (1998): pp. 117-33.
This research note is an examination of significant documents that were presented during the litigation of the Temagami court case concerning land rights, the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850 and annuities. McNab argues that the oral tradition of the Teme-Augama Anishnabai is accurate, showing that they never participated in the treaty. He provides a good narrative about aboriginal oral history tradition which is intended to generate historical debate on this issue. The endnotes and list of references are both informative and especially useful for further research.
Useful Web Guides
Writing an Annotated Bibliography (University of Toronto)
How to Write an Annotated Bibliography (Simon Fraser University)
How to Write Annotated Bibliographies (Memorial University)
Use the following databases to search by your topic to find relevant articles:
Good to know:
- Within a database, limit your search to scholarly articles when it is appropriate to disregard other resources.
- Never limit to full-text only as we may subscribe to the journal you find from another vendor. Use the Get it! icon to search for the full text when it is not immediately available.
- Use the Interlibrary Loans RACER form to request items not held at Carleton’s library.
Step 1: Write your topic out in sentence or question form
Step 2: Break your topic sentence up into main ideas or keywords
Step 3: Think of synonyms or alternate words to describe each concept
Tip: Use dictionaries, encyclopedias, or a thesaurus to find alternate words.
Step 4: Add "Boolean operators" (AND, OR) to make a complete search statement
- Use AND to limit or narrow your search to results that mention all of your keywords
Example: Okonkwo AND Unoka AND masculinity
- Use OR to broaden your search to include synonyms
Example: (leader OR commander OR ruler)
NOTE: OR terms must be bracketed.
Step 5: Add wildcards to search for all possible word endings
A wildcard is usually represented by a *. This is also called truncation : Achebe AND post-colonialism AND theme*
Step 6: Consider Key Phrase searching
Some databases search each word separately. To ensure that your words are evaluated as a key phrase, enclose them in double quotation marks.
Step 7: Evaluate your results
If you are finding too many or too few results, try these tricks:
To broaden your search (find more):
Find synonym for each keyword.
Search for a broader concept ('healer' instead of 'witch doctor').
Use wildcards / truncation.
To narrow your search (few fewer):
Add another concept or idea to your search with AND
Use more specific words ('poodle' instead of 'dog').
Books and EBooks
Use Omni to locate the literary work. The default search option on the library homepage is a keyword search. From Omni Advanced Search, Select Title and Under Material Type, select Books from the drop down menu. Enter the author's name with the surname first and type the title in the search box. To find other book titles written by the author, redo the search and choose Author field to limit your results.
Excellent help is available!
- Purdue Online Writing Lab - from Purdue University. Explore the sections in this lab:
Search Omni by Subject under Academic Writing.
- Help is available on campus at Writing Services.
Others aids for writing include
- Academic Integrity @ Carleton University
- Check out the Plagiarism.org website for more information.
- The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism by Colin Neville (2010) (Internet Archive)
- MLA Citation Style
- What’s New in the Ninth Edition (Spring 2021)
- The MLA Style Center (official site)
- Cite Your Sources MLA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue OWL).
- Concordia University MLA Guide
- A Student's Writing Guide : How to Plan and Write Successful Essays by Gordon Taylor (2009)
- Sin Boldly! Dr. Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper by David R. (David Rose) Williams (2004)
- Writing at university : a guide for students by Phyllis Creme (2008) (Limited (search only) at HathiTrust) (Online)
- Grammar Essentials by Geraldine Woods ; Joan Friedman (2019) (Online) (Online) (Online) (Online)
- English for Academic Research : Grammar, Usage and Style / Adrian Wallwork (2013) (Online) (Online) (Online)