Skip to main content

Introduction to American Writing: ENG 2502

Research help for the course, "Introduction to American Writing."

Author Biographies & Biographical Overviews

silhouette of two individualsBiographies and autobiographies provide insights into individuals' lives and achievements. Biographies come in all shapes and sizes: some offer just factual information (full name, birth and death dates, place of birth, career history, etc.) while others provide more in-depth essays as well as references for further reading.

The sources below contain brief biographies or biographical overviews on individuals. Many also point to other resources about an individual, including related news stories, book-length biographies, and/or author interviews.

Need additional help? Check out this help guide: How to Learn More About an Author

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, & Handbooks

hand thumbing through bookReference sources, like encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks, provide great overviews. They help researchers contextualize their topics and begin to ask the right questions. They also help with generating search terms to use when later searching in research databases. 

Moreover, reference works contain bibliographies that lead researchers to the most respected secondary and most useful primary sources on a topic.

In short, reference works are a great way to begin your research.

Introductory Essays & Topic Overviews

individual reading a bookNeed some context? These are detailed guides to authors, composers, philosophers, genres, various literatures and other fields of study, providing context and analysis for a thorough introduction.