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English : English 394: Literary and Cultural Theory

A page to guide topic formation and research for your essays

Consulting Sources - Use the BEAM Model

Background, Exhibits, Argument, Method

Watch the video before class on October 27 (3 minutes) and complete the poll below.

Background: factual and/or contextual information, often in encyclopedias or dictionaries

Exhibits: primary sources written by relevant authors and theorists

Search for primary works of literature by title or author in the Library Catalogue.  If you have trouble finding specific short works such as a poem or short story chat online with library staff for one-to-one assistance.

For items about specific theories try word searching, or a subject search using the specific theory, such as feminist theory (This will not always work. If it doesn't try, using your terms as a word search).

You can also try these strategies in USearch but you will likely get more results (and less helpful results) than you can manage.

Looking for something else? Email me.

Argument: secondary sources (journal articles, books) that help you make your point

Include those you cite in your Works Cited list. The library subscribes to hundreds of databases in all disciplines. If you are looking for sources on topics  that are not specifically literary, look for appropriate databases on the research guides for other subjects.

Method/theory: sources detailing the theories or school of thought your argument is about

Search sources in the Background section (above) using the name of your theory of focus. 

Also try the library catalogue. Make it a subject search and use the name of your theory (e.g. New Criticism). Or, use a word search with the name of an author and a theory (e.g. Achebe and postcolonial*)

Developing a research topic

Developing a search strategy

Evaluating information: scholarly and popular

Contact the English Lit Librarian

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Craig Harkema
Subjects: Drama, English