- Acquire background literary information from one of Laurier’s online reference books. Click on Oxford Reference: Literature for 28 online literary encyclopedias (e.g. The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature or The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature). These volumes can be searched singly or simultaneously
- To find information about literary terms (e.g. dramatic irony or postmodernism), look for a literary glossary such as The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (click on the tab "Online resources" to open), A Handbook to Literature (PN41.A2 1971) or A Glossary of Literary Terms (PN41.H6 2003). These last two books can be found on the lower floor of the Brantford Public Library
- Search Laurier’s Primo library catalogue for books on your topic. The default search is both books and articles so choose the “books” tab if you want to eliminate articles
- You can start with broad keywords (e.g. “post-war fiction”) and then narrow down your results by clicking on one of the “refine your results” links on the left-hand side of the screen
- For example, you can click on the subtopic “United States”
- You can also limit your results to the Brantford campus and/or books published within a specific time frame (e.g. works published after 2006)
- For works written by an author, change the dropdown option from “full record” to “author”
- For works written about an author, change “full record” to “subject”
- TIP: If you want criticism about a novel, you may find a chapter in a book about the author rather than an entire book devoted to a single novel
- Laurier's eBooks are just as scholarly as our print books
- They are available 24/7 from anywhere with an Internet connection
- Some of our ebooks can be downloaded and read on mobile devices (but not on the Kindle). If a book is downloadable, it will have a download link.
- View a video tutorial on finding eBooks
Can't find it at Brantford? Request it
- TIP: You can also order a book or a photocopy of an article from another library. You can learn more in our video tutorial on requesting materials from other libraries. It will be sent to the Brantford Public Library at no cost and you will be notified by email when it arrives
- A good place to start is the library catalogue. Choose the “articles” tab
- There are also databases for every subject area; they list articles on topics within these areas.
- The following databases are useful for critical works on fiction:
- To find scholarly articles, look for the “peer-reviewed” option in the databases. (What is a peer-reviewed article?)
- Do you already know the title of the article you want? Watch a video tutorial on how to find an article when you know the title
Too many search results?
- If you get too many search results, use narrower search terms (e.g. “post-war fiction” instead of “twentieth-century fiction”)
- Try adding more concepts to your search. Adding more terms that are linked by “AND” will decrease your number of search results (e.g. “post-war fiction” AND “feminism”)
Too few search results?
- Think in terms of broader categories (“twentieth-century fiction” rather than “post-war fiction”)
- Add alternate terms for each concept (“fiction” OR “novels”). Adding more terms that are linked by “OR” will increase your number of search results
- TIP: Look at the bibliographies of the most pertinent books and articles on your topic. One author can lead you to others in the field
Need assistance with writing?
- For personal essay guidance, make an appointment with Laurier Brantford’s Centre for Student Success
Creating a bibliography
- Visit our help page on citing sources for links to APA, MLA, and other style guides
- See our short video tutorials on when to cite and how to cite
Need help with research?
- Don’t hesitate to contact me (Pauline Dewan); I am here to help you. For additional information, see my contact page
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call me at 519 756-8228 ext. 5529
- Drop in for help or make an appointment. My office is in the Digital Library and Learning Commons, on the lower level of Grand River Hall, room 108B
- Instant message a Laurier librarian for help by clicking on “Ask Us” (from the homepage of the Laurier Library)
Please note: The Library is committed to providing programs, events and services that are accessible to all. Please contact us if you require accommodation due to a disability.