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EN 375: Traditions in American Literature, African American

Professor Dominic Ording

Library Resource Guide

Locating Books

Library Catalog
Start by entering a broad subject, and selecting the Library of Congress Subject Headings button. You can then browse a list of headings that contain a variety of subheadings. As you look at various books, pay attention to the subject headings that have been assigned to that item. This will lead you to additional subjects you can search. Keep exploring new subject headings until you have exhausted all possible headings.

If you are looking for information about a particular author, enter the authors name (last name first) and select the Library of Congress Subject Headings button. Look for subheadings such as biography, criticism and interpretation, as well as individual works).

Search the Literary Index to determine if your author is listed in these multivolume sets.

Dictionary of Literary Biography
Reference Collection: PN 451 .D52 Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook (DLBY)
Reference Collection: PN 451 .D526
Each entry in this 300+ volume set includes a 7-15 page biographical essay as well as a list of the authors writings since the essay was published.  Entries conclude with a list of references.

Something About the Author
Reference Collection: PN 451.S6
Provides a comprehensive listing of writings as well as a bibliography of collections, selections and adaptations for author's works.

Contemporary Literary Criticism (Gale)
Reference Collection: PN 771 .C5
This multivolume set provides excerpts from articles found in a variety of literary criticism sources.  Since only an except of the article is included in this source you will need to track down the original for the complete text.

Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (Gale)
Reference Collection: PN 94 .G35
This multivolume set also provides excerpts from articles found in a variety of literary criticism sources. 

Interlibrary Loan
Use interlibrary loan to obtain materials (books, articles, etc.) Olson Library does not own. While the average time to obtain materials through interlibrary loan is 7-14 days, it can take longer so submit requests early.

Locating Journal Articles

The premier index to scholarly publications (journals, books, proceedings, etc.) in the fields of literature, language, and linguistics. Use the "Search for Full Text" icon to locate journal articles or search the library catalog to determine if Olson Library own other materials (books, proceedings, bibliographies, etc.).

Internet Sources

Evaluating Internet Sources
Because of the hodge-podge of information on the Internet, it is very important you develop evaluation skills to assist you in identifying quality Web pages.  There are six (6) criteria that should be applied when evaluating any Web site: authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, coverage and appearance. 

Librarians’ Index to the Internet (LII)
Sometimes it’s hard finding what you want through a standard search engine: too many results and not enough relevance. LII is maintained by a group of librarians whose motto is to locate “Information You Can Trust.” LII is a searchable, browsable collection of over 16,000 high quality Web sites. If you are looking for a scholarly resource on a topic, LII is a great place to start. Just don’t expect to find everything here. Also, highly specific searches will be less successful then browsing my topic


MLA Style

MLA Style Guide
Examples of how to cite some of the more common sources, including web sites and online articles, according to the most recent edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.  Consult the Handbook in the library reference collection (Reference Collection: LB 2369 .G53.) for sources not listed at this site



Library Hours
Mon: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Tue: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Wed: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thu: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Fri: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat: 12:00 noon - 8:00 p.m.
For exceptions and full year hours