Skip to Main Content

Texts and Criticism: ENG 3096 (James Salazar section)

Research help for James Salazar's spring 2024 course, "Texts and Criticism."

Videos on Searching the MLA International Bibliography

Search Tips for the MLA International Bibliography

Keyword Search vs. Subject Search in the MLA International Bibliography

Why Use Journal Articles?

Note taking and highlighting journal articles by Raul Pacheco-Vega (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) 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.

Use the Library Search

Library Search is your gateway to discover books, journal articles, and much more at Temple University Libraries. Additional information can be found in our Library Search FAQ's.

Subject-focused Databases to Try

These are subject-specific databases, meaning they contain sources focused on one discipline -- unlike the Library Search which contains many. For some researchers, searching in a subject-specific database is more efficient and less overwhelming than searching in the Library Search. You decide your preference.

Search Tips for Literary Research

Call-out bubbles with the word 'Tip' insideTip #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, Bigger Thomas, Ariel, etc.
    • Theme – gender, nationalism, empire, race, 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, Harlem Renaissance, 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 the Available online icon link found in the Library Search or the Example of Find Full Text iconbutton 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).