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ENG 345: Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory

Resources to support the final project in ENG 345.


Interdisciplinary databases

If your theory or text engages across disciplines, the following databases may be especially useful.

You can also look at the A-Z list of all databases, and sort by subject to find things of relevance to your topic. 

Searching a Database

The most effective way to search the online databases is to enter terms or keywords that effectively describe your topic.

  • Use broad, meaningful keywords when you search. Don't use sentences or phrases.
  • Use just a few keywords (1-3). You can always add keywords later if you need to refine your search.
  • Use the facets or limits to help refine your search. For example, you can narrow your search by date or by geographic region.
  • When you review your results, look at the abstracts or subject headings for other keywords you can use to improve your search.
  • Be prepared to do several searches. Research is a process that takes time.


Choosing a Database

Online databases are a good place to start when you are searching for articles -- especially scholarly and peer-reviewed articles. Databases are searchable collections of research and other articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. You can search for articles by topic or, if you already know the information, by author or title.

Not all articles in a database include the article's full text.

  • Go to OSU Libraries and click on Databases A-Z (below the search box). This will take you to an alphabetical list of all our databases.
  • To see a list of databases recommended for a specific discipline, use the Subject drop-down on Databases A-Z. Select a subject area from the drop-down and click Search. 
  • Most databases include a brief description which tells you more about the type of materials included in the database and the topics and time periods it covers.

Electronic Journals

E-journals are another good research tool. if you are looking for articles on a topic, you will want to use the databases (see the Finding articles tab). It's more efficient than browsing through journals. If you want to see what is being published in your discipline or what the current hot topics are, then browsing through a journal can be very helpful. With e-journals, you can browse the table of content of a journal without coming to the library.

OSU Libraries subscribes to over 80,000 electronic journals (e-journals). It's easiest to search the e-journals if you have a specific journal or citation to locate.  Always note the date range available for each journal subscription.

Remember that if we don't have a journal online, we can still get a copy of an article for you via Interlibrary Loan.

Finding an Article's Full Text

Once you find your article's entry in a database, check whether the database provides the full-text article. If it does, the database will provide a link to a "full-text PDF", "full text available online", or something similar.

If the database doesn't provide a full-text article, click on the FindIt@OSU button to see if OSU subscribes to the electronic or the paper copy of the journal. FindIt@OSU will open a new window and will display a link to full-text when available. If not, request the article from Interlibrary Loan