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

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



  • 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