ENGL 310 - Introduction to Literary Studies

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

Library Research Guide


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Welcome to the Libraries' ENGL 310 Class Guide! This guide is designed to help you learn how to use K-State Libraries' many resources. If this guide does not have the information you are looking for, don't hesitate to Ask A Librarian for help any time during the Libraries' service hours.

Go directly to the K-State Libraries home page.


These handouts help focus the research process.

More Guidance

Visit the English Research Guide for more research tips.

Contact Sara K. Kearns via email or schedule an appointment (see contact information on this page.)

Researching in Literary Studies

This guide will direct you to finding appropriate books, journal articles, and other documents for literary criticism.  We will focus on academic and peer-reviewed resources. 

Academic resources

  • intended for researchers at the college level, from freshmen to faculty
  • place topics within a scholarly conversation by discussing:
    • research that has already been conducted,
    • commonly accepted ideas,
    • ideas still disputed or discussed by scholars,
    • developing ideas
  • usually include a reference list or bibliography for the sources referenced in the resource or for additional reading

Peer-reviewed resources

  • subset of academic resources 
  • other researchers in a discipline have read and provided feedback on the work (usually a journal article) before it is published 

This guide is organized into separate pages: getting started, reference materials, journal articles, and books. Click on the tabs on the left side of the screen to navigate through the guide.

Getting Started

  • brainstorming keywords
  • peer-review explanation
  • how to get help

Reference sources

  • biographies, topic and work overviews, plot summaries, definitions, etc.
  • sources of factual information 
  • basic explanations of theories and terminology
  • databases:

Journal articles and book chapters

  • peer-reviewed
  • critical analysis

Start with MLA International Bibliography and Project Muse. See the Journal Articles & Book Chapters page for more options.


  • edited
  • critical analysis

Start with Search It and WorldCat. See the Books page for more options.

Developing Keywords for Your Topic

Brainstorm a list of keywords before you even start researching. You will use these keywords as search terms in databases, keyword searches in texts, and to navigate the index to books.

To do so, ask yourself two questions:

1. What do I know about my topic?

2. What do I want to know about my topic?


List out the answers to those questions using single words or simple phrases. These will become your keywords.

  • The author or the title of the work you're researching are often your initial keywords. 
  • Add terms describing your specific area of interest--including which lens or angle you might be using to research and analyze the literature. 
  • As you learn more through your research, add to your list of keywords.

How to Brainstorm Keywords Video