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Interpreting Literature: ENG 2001

Research help for the course, ENG 2001: Interpreting Literature

Videos on Search Strategies

Choosing Keywords

Putting Together Your Search Terms

Narrowing or Broadening Your Search

Why Use Books?

stack of booksBooks written by scholars and published by university presses are a good source of information for many topics.

When and Why You Should Use Books:

  • You need good historical overviews of topic
  • You need broad coverage of one or more topics
  • You need a summary of existing research on a topic

Remember: Books may contain less recent information, often due to a lengthy publication process. Also, you may only need to read one chapter of a scholarly book!

Find Books at Temple

a book

Need to find a book? Use the following source to find books at Temple.

Quick Search Strategy for Finding Relevant Books in Library Search

One quick way to locate literary criticisms in books or book chapters is to combine the author's name with the word "criticism."  Oftentimes, these kinds of sources are tagged with the word "criticism" in Library Search. See example below.

search box with the search terms "Emily Dickinson AND criticism" inside

Reading Call Numbers

Book spineYou've got a call number to a book -- great! But, how do you read it so you can find the book on the shelves?

Let's look at PR851 .P74 2000 (The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel: From Richardson to George Eliot by Leah Price) as an example:


Read the first line in alphabetical order: A, B, BF, C, D... L, LA, LB, LC, M, ML...

Read the second line as a whole number: 1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 101, 1000, 2000, 2430...

The third line is a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, e.g.: .F64 = .64, .C724 = .724

Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.

The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order: 1843, 1972, 2010…