A research starter for ENGL 1010A: Writing Essays about Literature.
By the end of this course:
- Students will find information from appropriate resources for their essays.
- Students properly cite appropriate document sources (for example primary and secondary materials)
- Students evaluate information sources for relevance, authority, currency and perspective using the CRAP 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.
Look for our guide to Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources
Finding Primary Sources
Use the library's search tool and search by title or author.
- No Love Lost / Alice Munro (2003) (Internet Archive)
- The Yellow Wallpaper / Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- Island : the Complete Stories / Alistair MacLeod (2001) (Internet Archive)
- Hard Light / Michael Crummey (1998) (Internet Archive)
- Bloodchild and Other Stories / Octavia Butler E (2012)
As you do your research using secondary sources - books and scholarly articles - look for references to relevant primary sources in the footnotes and bibliographies.
Omni is the library interface search tool that lets you do just one search to find books, newspaper articles, journal articles, etc.
- Use keywords only, do not search using a full sentence.
- Combine keywords for different ideas with AND
- Combine synonyms or similar words for an idea with OR
- Use NOT to focus a search when a topic contains multiple search terms
- Surround search terms with quotation marks around phrases to locate exact results
- Use truncation (*) at the end of the root of a word to find all the forms of that word ;
and wildcards (?) to replace a single character
- Use parentheses to override search precedence and with OR statements
Example: Keywords - spoken word poetry
Example: Boolean operator: AND - indigenous literature AND healing
Example: Boolean operator: OR - (video OR film) AND "gil scott-heron"
Example: Boolean operator: NOT - (livesay NOT vermette)
Example: Truncation and wildcard - "graphic novel" AND female identity AND canad*
Click on Advanced Search and key in your search statement.
When you get your results, use the links on the left side of the screen to look at the books in our library.
If something is available in paper copy in the library, Omni will give you the call number (which you need to request Curbside Pick-up and Mail Delivery. If something is available online, click on Available Online under Availability.
For more search information, check this page, Omni Search Tips.
eBooks can be found in Omni by author, title, subject and keyword searching.
Do a search and then limit your search to retrieve only Books by using the drop down menu under Material Type. Next refine your results under Availability to Available Online
- Canadian Publishers Collection Includes major Canadian University Presses, among them the University of Toronto Press, the UBC Press, Les Presses de l'Université du Québec and McGill-Queen's University Press.
- eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
- Ebook Central Full-text of books from academic publishers, as well as books and reports from Canadian research institutes, government agencies and university centres.
- Scholars Portal Books Full-text available for books from the following publishers: Springer, Oxford University Press, American Psychological Association, Cambridge University Press, Canadian presses and government and non-governmental organizations
- UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004 Collection from University of California Press on a wide range of topics.
See a full list of eBook collections.
Suggested Reference Materials
- The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature / William Toye ; Eugene Benson (1997)
- Canadian Encyclopedia
- The Oxford Companion to Canadian History / Gerald Hallowell (2004)
- Canadian Oxford Dictionary / Katherine Barber (2004)
- Gale Literature
- ABC Bookworld - Search for author
- The Uses of Argument / Stephen Toulmin (2003) (Online) (Online)
- The Rhetoric of Argumentation / William J. Brandt (1970) (Online at HathiTrust)
- Modern Rhetoric / Cleaneth Brooke ; Robert Penn Warren (1979) (Online at HathiTrust)
Other Search Tools:
- HathiTrust Digital Library
- Internet Archive
- WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services.
Look for a Subject Guide on the discipline of your topic. Explore multiple guides when a topic is multidisciplinary.
Relevant Subject Guides include
If you know which journal you would like to consult, check Omni for the title of the journal (NOT the title of the article) Finding journal articles in Omni just got a little easier. If you do not have a particular journal in mind, you should consult a database.
General Searching in the Databases
If you are looking for articles by a particular author, select AUTHOR from the drop-down list.
If you are searching for a particular article, enter the title and select TITLE from the drop-down list.
For KEYWORD/SUBJECT or key phrase searching, most database search engines encourage you to put your related terms (OR searching) in the same row, and your unrelated concepts (AND searching) in separate rows. See Omni Search Tips for more information.
Tip: Most databases provide a way to restrict the results of a search to peer-reviewed or academic articles. This may be done differently from database to database: check the help pages for more information.
Recommended Databases for literary criticism
Also consult multidisciplinary databases such as:
- Academic OneFile
- Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database
- Canadian Encyclopedia
- Nexis Uni
- Project Muse
- The Wiley Guide to Writing Essays about Literature / Paul Headrick (2014)
- A Student's Writing Guide : How to Plan and Write Successful Essays / Gordon Taylor (2015)
- Writing Themes About Literature / Edgar V. Rogers (1977) (Online at HathiTrust)
- They Say/ I Say : The Moves that Matter in Academic / Cathy Birkenstein (2014) (Online at HathiTrust)
- Thinking on the Page : a College Student’s Guide to Effective Writing / Gwen Hyman ; Martha Schulman (2015)
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Well / Laurie Rozalois (2000) (Online) (Online)
- Ways of Reading : Advanced Reading Skills for Students of English Literature / Martin Montgomery (2007) (Online) (Online)
- How to Read a Book / Mortimer J Adler (2011)
Grammar / Punctuation / Style
Consult these guides:
- English Language and Literature : Writing and Citing Resources (Carleton University)
- Grammar, Grammar (Morgan Library Research Guides)
- "Avoiding Plagiarism: What Do I Need to Cite?" YouTube, uploaded by Kevin deLaplante, 15, March 2010.
- Richard Digital Media. "Plagiarism Video for Schools." YouTube, uploaded by Richard Digital Media, 13,
September 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JwFWbPotBA.
When citing sources in MLA Style, always list the "core elements" in the order below. MLA no longer requires place of publication. Note: Every element must end with Commas or periods.
- Author. -------------- Period
- Title of source. ------- Period
- Title of container,
- Other contributors,
- Publication date,
- Location. ------------Period
Here are a few online resources to help with formatting your research essay: