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English Capstone: Day 1: Library Resources

WISE Search

Don't forget WISE! Search our library's database for peer-reviewed articles too.

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

We don't have it? ILL it!

If Westminster College doesn't own a book or article, you can still get it (with a bit of patience!)

Click the "I need it now!" button on the WISE record of something you want that Westminster doesn't own.

The first time you use this service, you will have to create an account, but afterwards it's smooth sailing. 

Articles will be delivered electronically and typically take 3-5 business days. Books can take up to two weeks and will be held behind the LIS Help Desk. 

Your Evolving Topics

Reflect: How has your thinking about your topic changed already? It's okay if it has, or if it hasn't. Keep notes on Evernote, google docs, or whatever you like to use to remember what you find, what you thought, and what you think now!

Indexes and Databases of Interest

MLA International Bibliography: *The* database for literature, language and linguistics, folklore, film, literary theory & criticism, dramatic arts, and the history of printing. This is the database you should be using! Compiled by the Modern Languages association, this database includes over 2.5 million citations. So yeah- you should find something helpful.

Arts& Humanities Citation Index: Use as an index or use it to trace citations of articles you've already found!

Humanities Full-Text: Full-text, abstracts, and/or citations of over a thousand journals across the humanities.

JSTOR: Large, multi-disciplinary repository with thousands of scholarly articles and primary sources.

Project MUSE: Great humanities and social science database with a focus on the interdisciplinary.

Finding Nothing? Finding EVERYTHING? How to adjust.

By Alison Broosh, Hyperbole and a Half.

Oh no! This is sad.

Good thing is, you won't have to start over completely, but you might need to adjust!

If you're finding a lot. Like, really, a lot: You may need to reconsider or refocus your topic. Some topics are "overdone" and it's hard to say anything original about them. A broad topic will make it harder to cover the material in your paper and have the time to make specific connections. If your searches are returning 100s or 1000s of results in MLA, it may be time to focus in.

If you're not finding anything: A topic that's too narrow can be just as frustrating if not more so. Try searching synonyms or being a little bit less specific in your search. You might find similar works, or authors that have dealt with the same theme in a different way. You can use these sources and build connections upon them.

In either case, talk to your professor or a librarian!

You might also want to visit the guidelines for a good topic or research question and search around for good examples.

Subject Guide

Eloise Stevens's picture
Eloise Stevens
McGill 107

Search tips

* Wildcard. Great for searching multiple words at once

" " Quotation marks mean that you will only get results where this exact phrase appears

Subject headings can be your friend, especially MLA's authors-as-subjects

Find something good? Track citations to really see the 'scholarly conversation'

Put OR between two words if either will do.

Want to eliminate confusing and unessecary results- use NOT and then a word that you do NOT want to appear in your search.

AND NOT is an interesting search tool, you only want results with the second word if the first word is there as well.