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FS ENG 201: The Brontes  

Fall 2012
Last Updated: Feb 9, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Subject Guide

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Cynthia Burton
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Office: Library Main Floor, Reference Area
Phone: 814-332-2982
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Summary of Assignment

 Create a small collection of articles on Agnes Grey, a collection that spans several years so as to provide something of an overview of the scholarship done on this novel. Your article may be from a scholarly journal or from a collection of essays in a book. Each of you will be contributing one piece, article of section of book.

                In order to avoid overlap, I will assign each of you to a particular time frame.  

Pre-1980, 1980-1990, 1991-1999, 2000-2002, 2003-2006, 2007-2009, 2010-2013. 

For the oral report:

  • Begin by describing how you found the article. (What research strategy did you use, for example?  What data base? How did you narrow your search, if you had to do that. What, if any, frustrations did you experience in your search? If you found more than one appropriate article, give your reasons for selecting the one you did. )
  • Brief summary 
  • identify the critical approach or approaches you think the writer used

Introducing Modern Language Association Bibliography: MLA


An introduction to Modern Language Association Bibliography

What is MLA Bib?


contains  bibliographic records for books, book chapters, journal articles, and dissertations published since 1923 in the fields of language, literature, and folklore.

Where is MLA Bib located?

     Links to MLA are on the Databases A to Z page and also on the Pellegrams: English Subject Guide Page


  • Each entry in the database includes the author name(s), the title of the work, and, for articles or book chapters, the source in which the article appears. Also included are subject terms which identify the national literature, the time period of the subject work, the genre, and many other descriptive terms assigned by the editors of MLA.
  • The Keyword search includes words from titles, subject headings, and notes.  Searches in the MLA are not case-sensitive: Bronte and bronte are treated the same.


  • Begin your search with keywords and examine the resulting set for desirable records.  Use the subject terms in these records to glean new search terms.

Example:  Agnes Grey  searched in the author's work field yields about 62 results.  

  • Use truncation symbols to increase your results:emotion* retrieves emotion, emotions, emotional, etc.


  • Search for subject headings (also called descriptors) using the thesaurus tab under search tools:


  • Take advantage of the Advanced Search Limits.  The most "popular" limits are "English only,"  peer reviewed, and document type limits. 


Databases for English Literature

Tips for comprehensive searching:

  •  Complement your search of MLA International Bibliography with a search in Arts and Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science) to locate current articles.
  • Remember that JSTOR is not current; there is a 3-5 year lag in journal coverage.
  • Always feel free to consult  a reference librarian for more ideas.
  • MLA International Bibliography
    Subjects: Literature, folklore, language, and linguistics.
    Contains: Citations to books, journal articles, essay collections, and theses. Non-English language materials included.
    Coverage: 1923 to present.
  • Literature Resource Center
    Subject: Literature
    Contains: Criticism, biographies, bibliographies, work overviews and explications, Web sites, periodical articles, compare and contrast pages, full-text author's works.
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index
    Subjects: Arts and humanities.
    Contains: Citations and abstracts to journal articles. Citation mapping. Some non-English language material included.
    Coverage: 1975-present
    Contains full text articles from scholarly or academic journal titles. Limit to Language and Literature if needed. Searches the full text of included journal titles from the beginning issues of the journal. Coverage is not current, there is a 3-5 year embargo on current journal articles.
    Good for "contemporary criticism" of works.
  • Nines (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship)
    scholarly organization devoted to forging links between the material archive of the nineteenth century and the digital research environment of the twenty-first.
  • ProjectMuse
    Subjects: Mostly humanities with some social sciences.
    Contains: Full text articles from scholarly publications.
    Coverage: dates vary by journal
  • Essay and General Literature Index
    Subjects: Entire range of the Humanities and Social Sciences
    Contains: Citations from 5,300 anthologies and multi-author collections
    Coverage: 1985-
Allegheny College

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