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Macdonald DeWitt Library at SUNY Ulster

ENG102 & General Literature Research

A Subject Guide to highlight the key resources for locating literary criticism and literature within the DeWitt Library collections.

Librarian Tutorial Videos

Need a Topic?

When you are looking for a short story, poem, play or novel to study, it can be difficult to find a work that has enough published criticism to support your research paper topic. Gale Literature has a list of suggested titles and authors to help get you started.

Helpful Resources

Database Tutorials

A comparison of the Wheel and Tile displays of Topic Finder in Gale Literary Sources. Each graphically displays the words and subjects most often appearing in the text of the search results for "Maya Angelou."

Topic finder in a wheel shape for a search on Maya AngelouTopic Finder in tiles for a search on Maya Angelou

How to cite Short Story Criticism and Contemporary Literary Criticism

It can be a little tricky to cite an article/essay that appears in a reference work but was originally printed in a different book or journal. Use the examples below to create your citations for those multi-volume print literary criticism books in the Reference Collection.

Literary Criticism in a Multi-Volume Reference Work (eg, Short Story Criticism):
Lastname, Firstname. "Title of Chapter/Essay/Novel [usually listed at the end of the entry]." Title of Collection, edited by Firstname Lastname, vol. #, Publisher, date, pp. #-##. Originally published in Title of Original Publication, edited by/by Firstname Lastname, Publisher/Journal Name, vol. #, issue # [if a journal article], date, pp. #-##.
Ginsberg, Lesley. "'I Am Your Slave for Love': Race Sentimentality, and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Fiction for Children." Short Story Criticism, edited by Jelena Krstovic, vol. 159, Gale, 2012, pp.321-30. Originally published in Enterprising Youth: Social Values and Acculturation in Nineteenth-Century American Children's Literature, edited by Monika Elbert, Routledge, 2008, pp. 97-113.

Aizenber, Edna. "Mi Buenos Aires Herido: Borges and Landscapes of Fear." Short Story Criticism, edited by Jelena Krstovic, vol. 159, Gale, 2012, pp.157-61. Originally published in Variaciones Borges, vol. 25, 2008, pp. 69-78.

Writing Help from the Literacy Lab

The Literacy Lab offers writing tutoring for all subjects on a drop-in basis, both in person and virtually (by request). Our professional and peer tutors are available to assist students with a variety of writing assignments, including essays, research, lab reports, and more. Space and computers are also available for independent work. We welcome you to join us!

Location: Vanderlyn 208 & 210

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-3:00pm

Stop by or email for more information.

Reading Peer-Reviewed Articles

Know your question or argument. Keep your question in mind as you read with the understanding that it may change as you gain more understanding and do more research.

Start with the Abstract (summary). The abstract will help you decide if you should go any further. If it doesn't seem to address your question or argument, stop reading.

Read the Conclusion/Discussion. The main claims of the author's work should be discussed at the end. If the conclusion is relevant, then move on to the Introduction.

Make your own summary. It is helpful to put in your own words why the article is relevant to your research question. It will help you organize your thoughts when moving to the next step of the research/writing process.

Review the references. It is important to see what types of sources the author consulted in their research. It can also lead you to other relevant sources to help you with your own research.

Reading Books & eBooks

Review the Table of Contents. Review the Introduction if there is one. Skip to the chapters that are most relevant to your research question/argument.

Look for summary information like a conclusion at the end of a chapter or the end of a book.

In ebooks, use the Search within option to find relevant passages (you need to open the ebook to find this option). In print books, use the index to find relevant pages.

Review the references at the end of each chapter or the end of the book to see what types of sources the author consulted in their research. It can also lead you to other relevant sources to help you with your own research.