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ENG 106: Introduction to Literature: Poetry

Online Databases

Use the online databases to help you locate scholarly articles on the poet, his or her poetry and sources about the historical context. In this assignment, you are studying the poets but also how his or her experiences (historical, psychological, environmental) have influenced his or her poetry. For example, if you are researching  John McCrae, who wrote "In Flanders Field," you may want to research something about WWI and what it was like for the soldiers. You may want to learn more about the politics that lead to the war. The article you find does not need to be about the specific poem or poet, but something that helps you understand the historical context. If you are researching Sylvia Plath, who suffered from depression, you may want to use the psychology database PsycINFO to locate an article about adult depression.

The databases listed below are group by general subject area. The database you use will depends in part on your focus.


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.


Smart searching

When searching in catalogs and databases:

  • Be creative in the words you use; if one doesn't work, try something else. Think of words with related meaning, such as natural resource management or restoration or conservation
  • Begin with keywords, and use the subjects found in the articles that come up to find more information
  • Use quotation marks around phrases, so they won't be searched as individual words.
  • Use advanced search features in catalogs and databases to limit by date, language, type of article, etc


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