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Harlem Renaissance: ENG 3412

Research help for the course, "Harlem Renaissance"

Why Use Journal Articles?

Note taking and highlighting journal articles by Raul Pacheco-Vega (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) https://flic.kr/p/ywhfPTJournal articles -- also known as "scholarly articles," "peer-reviewed articles," or "academic articles" -- are sources that are written and reviewed by scholars; this means the information is approved by other experts before publication.

When and Why You Should Use Journal Articles:

  • You need information that is based on research and expertise
  • You need in-depth analysis of a topic or a single case study explored in-depth
  • You need recent scholarly conversations about a topic
  • You need suggestions for additional sources (tip: look in the bibliography)
  • You need sources that are peer-reviewed

Remember: Journal articles can sometimes feel dense or intense. Look for visual cues (headings, sections, bullets, charts/graphs) within articles to help guide you to relevant information. Need help? Check out this Anatomy of a Scholarly Article tutorial.

Find Articles & Criticisms -- Best Bets

These subject-focused databases include scholarly commentary and criticism on authors, their works, and/or historical time periods.  Use these to learn more about how critics analyze and interpret works of literature and/or historical periods.

Search Tips for Literary Research

TipTip #1: Focus your search on three keyword concepts: Author, Text, and Topic. See examples below:

  • Author – use the author’s last name. Use any pseudonyms or spelling variations.
    • Examples: E.M. Forster, Edward Morgan Forster, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Text – use the partial or full title of the text you’re examining. (tip: put the title in quotation marks).
  • Topic – use a topic related to your central focus and argument. Examples:
    • Specific characters – Hester Prynne, Jay Gatsby, Ophelia, etc.
    • Theme – gender, nationalism, empire, diaspora, class, sexuality, identity, etc.
    • Technique – narration, characterization, metaphor, dialogue, etc.
    • Symbols – windows, roses, cages, lightness, darkness, etc.
    • Time period (literary or historical) – Victorian, Modernism, Medieval, etc.
    • Genre – drama, short story, poetry, epistle, detective, historical fiction, criticism, reviews, etc.
    • Theory/Theorist – postcolonial, psychoanalysis, Said, Freud, etc.
    • Setting/Country/Region – homes, parks, monastery, Italy, British Empire, etc.

Tip #2: Combine your keywords in meaningful ways. See examples below:

  • Author AND Text
  • Author AND topic
  • Text AND (Topic OR Topic)

Find the Full-Text

Can't Locate Your Article Online?

  • Use theOnline button in Library Searchlink found in the Library Search or the Find Full Textbutton available from most other databases to locate the entire article online.
  • If your article is not available in print or via another research database, request it via ILLiad (interlibrary loan).