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New Books

The following list contains the most recently added items charged to English, and the  list is refreshed on a nightly basis.  If you see a title that the library does NOT have, please contact Mr. Maley, the subject specialist  or fill out "Please Buy This".

Faculty Consultant

This research guide has been prepared in consultation with Dr. Susan Glover of the English Department.

Courses

For information about  Laurentian's  English program, please visit the  English Department's web site.

Welcome

Welcome to the English Research Guide! Here, you will find a comprehensive collection of print and electronic resources specifically for English that are provided through Laurentian Library services. Use the links on the left to locate and access a variety of useful tools to assist you with your information needs. 

Connect from Off Campus

Most of the Library's online resources are available to you from anywhere off campus.  See: UL Proxy Accounts.

Library Instruction

To learn more about the library and its resources and how you can exploit them to your advantage, register in the Research Skills Tutorial on D2L. There are several sections in the tutorial with a short quiz at the end of each; at the end you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Many professors require you to take this tutorial--and once you finish it, you can save your certificate to reprint as often as necessary.

In the fall,  the library hosts live Orientation tours as well as Zotero classes which you can sign up for at the library's entrance, and even after the formal schedule is finished, we are very happy to put on special classes at the request of at least 5 students. If you would like to arrange a special class, or you think your course would benefit from some in-class library instruction, please ask your professor to contact the librarian responsible for your faculty to set up some sessions.

Librarian for English

Desmond Maley
Name: Desmond Maley
Position Title: Associate Librarian
Email Address: dmaley@laurentian.ca
Extension: 3323
Office Location: 30-246, J.-N. Desmarais Library

Help with a Paper

We are available to help you throughout the academic year.  If you would like to arrange for an individual appointment, please e-mail  Mr. Maley with a requested date and time, and a brief description of your project.

More Help

In the library: The Library User Assistance Desk to your immediate left as you enter the library is a good place to start.

By email: Email the librarian responsible for your faculty for a reply during regular working hours.

By telephone: 705-675-4803, or toll free at 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2

By chat: With our "Ask the Library" service. For more information, see About Ask a Librarian.

For Distance Education students: Telephone: 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2 or email: Distance_l@laurentian.ca

Get Started

Quick Tips on Preparing For Research

Before you start:

  • understand the key terms you may be using as well as the general area that interests you;
  • think about ways to narrow your topic, making it as specific as possible (unless you have been given a specific topic to research!);
  • create a thesis statement;
  • list  the main concepts (key words) included in your thesis statement (research question), then based on your readings;
  • find as many synonyms as you can for each main concept. You are now ready to start searching in the library's catalogue and databases.

When you are looking for definitions or if you don’t know much about a specific subject, reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias become invaluable because they contain relatively short—and accessible—articles. These articles often lay out the parameters of a subject and can assist you in trying to narrow your topic. Often such articles are accompanied by lists of readings (bibliographies) which allow you to explore your topic further.

Dictionaries

The Oxford English Dictionary is  the most comprehensive dictionary of the English language  in part becuase it includes words as they first entered the language and any change in their meanings over time.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of  Literary Terms  provides clear, concise, and often witty definitions of the most troublesome literary terms from abjection to zeugma.

Encyclopedias for English

Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada: This encyclopedia discusses literature in English and French, and also in such other languages as Yiddish, Spanish, Haida and Cree; authors and their work; related literary and social issues; professional institutions that play a role in the lives of Canadian writers; and the major historical and cultural events that have shaped Canada. (print)


Literature Resource Centre: Includes critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, biographies, and more to provide a wealth of information on authors, their works, and literary movements.  Researchers at all levels will find the information they need, with content covering all genres and disciplines, all time periods and all parts of the world. (online)


The Oxford Companion to English Literature: This comprehensive encyclopedia provides coverage of all aspects of English literature - from writers, their works, and the historical and cultural context in which they wrote, to critics, literary theory, and allusions. (print) 


The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature: This encyclopedia provides a comprehensive overview of major American writers and literary works. It is browsable alphabetically and searchable. (online)


The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature: This encyclopedia covers the entire history of literature in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in the major literary languages (Anglo-Saxon, English, Welsh, Scots, Irish, and Latin). It includes substantial accounts of individual authors (e.g., Spenser, Pope, Austen) and detailed histories of particular themes, movements, genres, and institutions, whose impact upon the writing or the reading of literature was significant (e.g., The Stationers' Company, the sonnet, the ‘School of Night,’ or the Sublime). (online)


The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature: This award-winning encyclopedia presents a comprehensive collection of entries on children’s literature from all around the world with an emphasis on themes, trends, authors/illustrators, and traditions. (online)

 

Extra Encyclopedia for English

The Encyclopedia of Rhetoric: This encyclopedia brings together different disciplines including philosophy, literature, literary theory, and cultural studies in the broad study of “the art of persuasion.”

Criticism Resources

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism: Compiled by 275 specialists from around the world, the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism presents a comprehensive historical survey of the field's most important figures, schools, and movements and is updated annually. It includes almost 300 alphabetically arranged entries and subentries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods.

Get Books and Theses

Why Use Books?

  • Books are extremely valuable resources when doing in-depth research on a topic! Authors have hundreds of pages to give detailed explanations and background information surrounding the various facets of your research interest.
  • Using this kind of in-depth information will make it easier to form a research question or thesis statement (or even spark your inspiration)
  • The bibliographies found in books are extensive, and will point you to other resources to add to your own resource list.
  • Remember: scholars write journal articles under the assumption that you already have a relatively thorough understanding of the topic – this means that you will likely not find the foundational information needed for your topic in the beginning stages of your research process. In this sense, books become indispensable

Searching the Catalogue

The catalogue is your primary tool for finding books in the J.N. Desmarais Library. You can also use the catalogue to find other materials, including government publications and journals (the journals themselves--not individual articles).

You can search the catalogue by:

  • Keyword
  • Title
  • Author
  • Subject
  • Journal Title

When you know the book you are searching for, pick Title or Author; when you are searching for a topic, start with Keyword unless you know the exact Subject heading describing your topic.

More on searching the Catalogue is available in Module 5 of the Research Skills Tutorial in D2L.

E-Books

E-books are located in two different places:

  • Some may be located by using the library’s catalogue. These records will have [electronic resource] in the title.
  • E-books can also be located by searching in e-book collections. Searching in these collections is the same as searching in a database.

Recommended E-Book Collections

Ebrary (close to 40,000 e-books in multiple subject areas)
Scholars Portal E-Books (over 250,000 e-books in multiple subject areas. Select Full Text Only to find only those e-books with full text)

WorldCat

With nearly 200 million records representing titles held by nearly 75,000 libraries you will find almost any book ever published in the English language in WorldCat.
Search Tips:  Once you log-in, click on the Help Button: Help button
After your search, when you see a title that interests you, click on it and within the record you will see an image for "Get it @ Laurentian" :
   Get it @ Laurentian
When you click on that, you will be led to a menu which allows you to check for availability in Laurentian’s catalogue or order the item through ILL - Interlibrary Loan.
Note: While a free version of WorldCat is available online, we recommend that you use the university's subscription version of WorldCat because it offers the "Get it @ Laurentian" feature and more powerful search functionality.

Theses

In addition to books, you may wish to search for book-length Master's theses or Ph.D dissertations.

Best bet:  Dissertations and Theses (ProQuest).

If you are also looking for recent theses or dissertations produced by Laurentian graduates, check out our Research Repository - LUZONE.  Note that since 2013, before graduation all Masters and Doctoral candidates MUST deposit their theses or dissertations in this repository.

Get Articles

Articles: Quick Tips

The databases to the right provide references to many scholarly journal articles and papers.

  1. Start off with keyword searches expressing your topic. Keyword searching crosses all fields.
  2. Use Search Operators such as "OR" and "AND" to expand or reduce your results.
  3. Review those items that look relevant, then, exploit the details within those entries to help lead you to other relevant articles.
    • Pay attention to the subject headings (often called "descriptors") to see how the database describes your topic and use them to find related articles.
    • Find other papers written by the same author; these will typically be on similar subjects.
    • Follow citation trails: other articles that have cited this article will probably be on a related subject and will include citations to other articles of interest.
  4. For more Secrets of Searching a Database, review that section in How to Research Like a Librarian.

Peer Review

Peer Review is the evaluation of creative work by scholars in the same field in order to maintain or enhance the quality of the work in that field.

In the case of peer reviewed journals, which are usually academic, peer review generally refers to the evaluation of the articles in them prior to publication. For more, check out this definition of peer review.

  • To ascertain whether a journal is peer reviewed, consult Ulrichsweb.

Recommended Starting Databases

  • MLA International Bibliography ?

    Description: Covers literature from all over the world--Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. Folklore is represented by folk literature, music, art, rituals, and belief systems. Linguistics and language materials range from history and theory of linguistics, comparative linguistics, semantics, stylistics, and syntax to translation. Other topics include literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts (film, radio, television, theater), and history of printing and publishing. Since 1926.

  • Literature Online (LION) ?

    Description: "With over a third of a million full-text works of poetry, prose and drama in English, together with the definitive online criticism and reference library, Literature Online is the world's largest cross-searchable database of literature and criticism." -- publisher's description.

Some Related Databases

  • Academic OneFile ?

    Description: More than 14,000 titles, including more than 9,000 peer-reviewed journals and more than 6,000 in full text. Extensive coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects since 1980.

  • Canadian Periodicals Index Quarterly (CPI.Q) ?

    Description: The CPI provides access to articles from a comprehensive list of Canadian and international journals, magazines, selected sections of the Globe and Mail, Canadian biographies and other reference content from Gale™, all with a Canadian focus. Indexing from 1980 to present; Full-text articles from 1983 to present.

  • FRANCIS ?

    Description: Multilingual social sciences and humanities database. English and French searching options available.

  • JSTOR ?

    Description: JSTOR includes the archives of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. The entire corpus is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, includes high-quality images, and is interlinked by millions of citations and references. Note: Normally the journals in JSTOR are five years from current; further, all JSTOR journals are available through the "Get it @ Laurentian" link from other databases. JSTOR should NOT be used as at the first resort.

  • Project MUSE ?

    Description: Project MUSE offers full-text current and archival articles from 600+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. Updated continually.

Fun Bonus: Understanding Shakespeare

Pick a Shakespearean play. Click a line. Instantly see articles on JSTOR that reference the line OR visit Shakespeare Documented  a large and  authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting the life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), bringing together all known manuscript and print references to Shakespeare, his works, and additional references to his family, in his lifetime and shortly thereafter.

Citation Sources

When researching a paper, it is useful to consult the citations used by the author of an article that you find relevant.  But that article itself may have been cited by other authors after it was first written. Two sources help you identify such citations:

Getting Articles @ Laurentian

In any database, when you see an article that interests you, click on it and, unless the article is available within the database itself, within the record you will see an image that says "Get it @ Laurentian":

Get it at Laurentian

When you click on that,  you will arrive at a menu which will lead to an electronic copy of the article you want, or, if not available electronically, to Laurentian's catalogue which will allow you to check if the article is available in print in the library, and if not, to a final link which allows you to order the item through Interlibrary loan.

Get Films

Online Film Collections

  • NFB (National Film Board) ?

    Description: The NFB's online Screening Room features over 3,000 films, excerpts, trailers and interactive works (including) documentaries, animation, experimental films and fiction (with a Canadian context or perspective.) Faculty can activate additional CAMPUS tools on their personal NFB account to create playlists of film snippets ("chapters") and entire films for classes; contact Desmond Maley (dmaley@laurentian.ca) for details.

Need a Film Not in Laurentian's Online Film Collections?

​Consult: Watmedia (Provincial Multi-media Catalogue).  Material held by Laurentian may be signed out in the library. To order a film not available at Laurentian, please email LUFilmLibrary@laurentian.ca and specify the date(s) you require the item.

Questions:  Please contact Ashley Thomson who manages the Intrafilm Project.

Get Primary Sources

Literature Online: Texts

Literature Online contains poetry, drama, and prose from 600 AD up to and including the twentieth century. It also contains a selection of regional and national literature.  Recent texts are often not available due to copyright restructions.

Early English Books, Journals, Newspapers, and Documents

  • Early English Books Online ?

    Description: 100,000 English-language ebooks pre-1700s covering multiple subject areas

  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online ?

    Description: 138,000 English-language ebooks written between 1701-1800

  • Eighteenth Century Journals ?

    Description: Bringing together rare journals printed between c.1685 and 1835, this resource illuminates all aspects of eighteenth-century social, political and literary life. Topics covered are wide-ranging and include colonial life, provincial and rural affairs, the French and American revolutions, reviews of literature and fashion throughout Europe, political debates, and London coffee house gossip and discussion.

More Access to Early Modern Books

  • English Short Title Catalogue ?

    Description: The ESTC is designed to include a bibliographic record, with holdings, of every surviving copy of letterpress produced in Great Britain or any of its colonies, in any language, worldwide, from 1473-1800. In order to increase access to these items, it includes references to microfilm, digital, and other facsimile versions. All of its records are fully searchable online. The ESTC is the joint effort of the British Library, the American Antiquarian Society, the ESTC/NA, and our many contributing libraries throughout the world.

  • Nineteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue ?

    Description: Nineteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue (NSTC) defines the printed record of the English-speaking world from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the end of the First World War. Indexes all printed works published in Britain, its colonies and the United States of America, all printed works in English wherever published, and all translations from English. NSTC includes well-known and obscure works of literature, important translations, legal documents, political pamphlets, medical and scientific monographs, journals, and periodicals.

Canadian Sources

Early Canadiana Online: contains over 80,000 rare books, magazines and government publications from the 1600s to the 1940s.  Included in the Canadian Literature section are 875 works of fiction, drama, songs, and poetry, as well as biography, travel literature and exploration accounts. This section is comprised of books published from 1697 to 1900, and from a variety of countries (Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland)

Writing and Citation Manuals plus Zotero

Improving Your Writing

Learning to write in academia is extremely important as you advance through your university career. The online resources below will assist you in developing your thesis/ideas, structuring your essay, writing critically, and improving your writing style.

One of the best sources is Perdue University's OWL Writing Lab. Here you will not only find subject-specific guides to writing but also guides to the major citation styles, including MLA.

Writing Essays: A Guide for Students in English and the Humanities

Writing About Literature: Essays and Translation Skills for University Students and Foreign Literature

Citation Manuals

Properly citing your sources is an extremely valuable and necessary skill when completing your research. Below are a few resources to help you correctly format your bibliography in MLA style.

For more on MLA, please consult the library's Citation and Style guide.

 

ZOTERO

Zotero is a free, web-based citation manager that allows you to: 

  • Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
  • Manage and organize your references.
  • Create a bibliography.
  • Share your references with others
  • Add in-text citation and a bibliography directly into your assignment 

Getting started with Zotero: