Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University

ENGL 310 - Introduction to Literary Studies

This guide provides information about literary resources to aid students enrolled in ENGL 310 locate relevant research materials

Reference Sources

Reference materials include biographies and encyclopedia-type sources that provide a factual overview of or introduction to an author, work, or genre.


Why use reference sources when you need literary criticism?

  • identify terminology for themes or concepts you encounter
  • gain perspective on the existing scholarly conversation
     

Use simple searches in these resources such as:

  • author's name (e.g. Tananarive Due) 
  • work title (e.g. My soul to keep)
  • genre (e.g. gothic)

 

Make note of: 

  • facts: dates, locations, historical events, people
  • themes/frames: post-modernism, matriarchy, family, immortality, racial identity
  • similar authors or works 
  • reference lists/further reading

 

Databases

  • Always use the Advanced Search option for more control and options
  • Use options to refine the search results to focus on reference sources like:
    • Reference books
    • Plot summaries
    • Biographies
    • Work overview

Example Reference Books