English & Literature Resources - LPC Library Guide

Electronic Print Resources

Literature Resource Center - provides "access to biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of authors from every age and literary discipline. Combining ... core literary databases in a single online service, the Literature Resource Center covers more than 120,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and other writers, with in-depth coverage of 2,500 of the most-studied authors."

LitFinder contains over 125,000 full-text poems, stories, biographies, and the best-known speeches. Also included are explanations, study guides, a glossary, pictures, etc.

Academic Search Complete. EBSCO is LPC's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, which provides full text for more than 4,600 scholarly publications, including full text for more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage spans virtually every area of academic study and offers information dating as far back as 1975.

Other Useful Electronic Print Resources and Web Sites

Dictionary of Literary BiograpyPDF Icon (Gale) - A list of the DLB volumes by volume number, title, and call number owned by LPC Library and shelved in the Reference section.

Literary Index (Gale) - comprehensive free index online to print literary resources. Once you search for an author, it will list the resources that contain information. Look up those titles in the online catalog to see if LPC Library owns them.

LPC Library Shakespeare Materials

Shakespeare at LPC - Studies in Shakespeare

Virtual Reference Book (E-book): Shakespeare for Students: Critical Interpretations of Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry 2nd ed.

Useful Internet Resources

You may want to explore some Internet resources to supplement or enhance your research. Always be cautious of information you find on the Web since the quality of sources varies tremendously on the Internet. It is always a good idea to check the information against another source. As with all information resources, whether in print or on the Internet, you evaluate its quality based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy  (Is it free from mistakes and errors?)
  • Authority  (What are the qualifications of the author?)
  • Objectivity  (Is there any strong bias?)
  • Currency  (Is the information up to date?)
  • Coverage  (To what extent is the topic explored?)

The following resources are useful links to literature and grammar information on the Web.


The Academy of American Poets - click on the Poets & Poetry link to explore contemporary poets and poems by theme

Library of Congress: Poetry - click on the Past Poets Laureate for names of recent poet laureates

Poetry Archive - browse by poets and themes

American Life in Poetry

Poetry 180

Poets’ Corner

Podcasts and Webcasts:

Houghton Mifflin Poetry Podcast: The Poetic Voice

Library of Congress: Poetry Webcasts

Poetry Foundation: Online Journal: Audio and Podcasts

University of Chicago Poem Present 2008-09

Grammar & Writing

Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation - provides commonsense guidance to the grammatically confused and the punctuation impaired.

Conciseness: Methods of Eliminating Wordiness - tips, examples, and exercises from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab

Dr. Grammar - "Your Rx for Writing Ills" - grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, and general language concerns; including links to grammar, English as a second language, word origins, Fun With Words, and plagiarism resources

Getting an A on an English Paper (Jack Lynch, Rutgers University) - tips to help you with the elements of a good paper: thesis, research, close reading, style and mechanics

Guide for Writing Research Papers based on Modern Language Association (MLA) Documentation

Guide to Grammar and Style - Jack Lynch, Rutgers University

Guide to Indispensable Writing Resources - "...everything on and off the Net that you could possibly need in writing or researching a paper, including links to all sorts of reference material, links to writing labs, links to Web search engines, and links to writing-related Web sites"

Plagiarism Court: You Be the Judge - presents basic information on avoiding plagiarism, includes topics such as documentation, quoting, paraphrasing, and citation styles

Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It - Indiana University

Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgement - Dartmouth College guide on why, when, and how to cite print or electronic sources; clearly defines plagiarism. Shows four citation styles

Strategies for Reducing Wordiness - tips for concise writing Literacy Education Online

Student Writing Models from Writers Inc: samples of personal essays, descriptive writing, news features, eyewitness accounts, interview reports, persuasive writing, creative writing, cause/effect, comparison, writing about literature, research wrting,etc. Other links to writing topics, judging sources (MLA & APA), research links, etc.

Wordiness: Words and Phrases to Purge from your Writing - "Keep the good stuff, and get rid of the useless clutter that's been hanging around in your writing. Clean up your act" is the advice of this page

Writing Tutorial Services - Indiana University's guide to citing sources, thesis statements, paragraphs and topic sentences, proof reading, plagiarism, outlines, book reviews, essay exams, resumes and cover letters

Reference - frequently asked questions about grammar, spelling, symbols and word origins and everything else possible from the Oxford English Dictionary publishers Great Books Online - Includes Columbia Encyclopedia, American Heritage Dictionary, Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, American Heritage Book of English Usage, Simpson's Contemporary Quotations, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, Oxford Shakespeare, Gray's Anatomy, Strunk's Elements of Style, and more

Cambridge History of English and American Literature - - "An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes ... considered the most important work of literary history and criticism ever published on writings in the English language ... with essay topics ranging from poetry, fiction, drama and essays to history, theology and political writing ... [and] a wide selection of writing on orators, humorists, poets, newspaper columnists, religious leaders, economists, Native Americans, song writers, and even non-English writing, such as Yiddish and Creole".

Glossary of Literary Terms - "the site that extends the study of literature online for Michael Meyer's introductory literature texts"

Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples - simple list of 45 rhetorical terms used in literature with definitions and some links to further information

Norton Anthology of English Literature - companion to the print resource of the same name features "annotated texts and contexts grouped by topic, over 1000 illustrations, ... hundreds of annotated links to related sites [and] The Norton Online Archive, a searchable electronic library of over 150 literary texts and downloadable audio files, annotated by the editors."

Notes in the Margin: Glossary of Literary Terms - "These notes are meant to provide basic definitions of frequently used literary terms," such as archetype , hero, realism, and symbolism. Comments on books and reading by Mary Daniels Brown, St. Louis, Missouri

SparkNotes - study guides for nearly 100 literature classics created by Harvard University students and alumni, containing sections on context, characters, overall summary, chapter-by-chapter summary and commentary, study questions. Free registration required.

Print Reference Resources

The following reference works are just a few of the most useful literary resources in the LPC Library:

Literary Reference Sets (Biographies on Authors and Critical Essays on Their Writings)

Contemporary Authors. Ref PS128.C6 Index v.1-186 and index.

Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series. Ref PS128.C6 CANR v. 1-91.

Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ref PN771.C59 v. 1-133 and index.

Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth-Century Novelists, Poets, Playwrights, Philosophers, and Other Creative Writers, from the First Published Critical Appraisals to Current Evaluations. Ref PN86.L53 v.1–21.

Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ref PN761.N56 v.1-38 & index.

Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ref PN771.T85 v. 1-98 and index. 19th & early 20th century.

Guides for Commonly Studied Drama, Literature, Fiction, and Poetry

Drama for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Dramas. Ref PN1701.D73 2001 v.1-10. Each entry contains author biography, plot summary, characters, themes, style, historical context, critical overview, and criticism.

Epics for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Epics. Ref PN56.E65 E67 v.1-2. Each entry includes author biography, plot summary, characters, media adaptations, themes, topics for further study, style, historical context, comparison and contrast, critical overview, criticism, and suggestions for further reading and study.

Novels for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on commonly Studied Novels. Ref PN3385.N68 1997 –2 000 v. 1 – 10. Each entry contains author biography, plot summary, characters, themes, style, historical context, critical overview, and criticism.

Poetry for Students : Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Poetry. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Ref PN1101.P64 2001 v. 1-10. Each entry contains author biography, poem text, poem summary, themes, style, historical context, critical overview, and criticism.

Shakespeare for Students: Critical Interpretations of Henry IV, Part One, Henry V, King Lear, Much Ado about Nothing, Richard III, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night. Ref PR2987.S468 1997.

Short Stories for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Novels. Ref PN3373.S56 2000 v.1-9. Each entry contains author biography, plot summary, characters, themes, style, historical context, critical overview, and criticism.

Miscellaneous Useful Literary Sources

American Nature Writers. Ref PS163.A6 1996 v. 1- 2. v. 1: Edward Abbey to John McPhee; v. 2: Peter Matthiessen to Western geologists and explorers.

American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present. Ref PS147.A4 v.1 – 4.

American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies. Ref PS129.A55 v. 1 – 4, Supplement 1-4, Pt. 1&2. v. 1, Henry Adams to T.S. Eliot; v. 2. Ralph Waldo Emerson to Carson McCullers; v. 3. Archibald MacLeish to George Santayana; v. 4. Isaac Bashevis Singer to Richard Wright; Supplement[s]: 1, pt. 1. Jane Addams to Sidney Lanier. 1, pt. 2. Vachel Lindsay to Elinor Wylie. 2, pt. 2. Robinson Jeffers to Yvor Winters.

Asian American Literature: Reviews and Criticism of Works by American Writers of Asian Descent. PS153.A84 A82 1999.

Black American Writers Past and Present: A Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary. Ref PS153.N5 R87 v.1 – 2.

Black American Writers: Bibliographical Essays. v. 1: The beginnings through the Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes; v. 2: Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Amiri Baraka. Ref PS153.N5 B55 v. 1 – 2.

British Writers. Ref PR85.B688 v.1-8 and index.

Chicano Literature: A Reference Guide. Ref PS153.M4 C46 1985.

Companion To Literary Myths: Heroes and Archetypes. Ref PN56.M95 D4813 1992.

Critical Survey of Drama: English Language Series. Ref PR623.C75 1985 v. 1- 6. English and American drama and dramatists.

Critical Survey of Poetry: English Language Series. Ref PR502.C85 1982 v. 1-8. English and American poetry and poets.

Critical Survey of Short Fiction. Ref PN3321.C7 1981 v. 1-7. Author biographies, and history and criticism of short stories.

Cyclopedia of Literary Characters II. Ref PN44.M43 1990 v.1 – 4. Characters and characteristics in literature; stories, plots, etc.

Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature. Ref PQ7081.A1 E56 1997.

Hispanic Writers: A Selection of Sketches from Contemporary Authors. Ref PQ7081.3.H58 1991. Contains more than four hundred entries on Twentieth-Century Hispanic writers, all originally written or updated for this volume.

Magill's Literary Annual ... : Essay-Reviews of 200 Outstanding Books Published in the United States ... , with Annotated Categories Index. Ref PN44.M35 1974 - PN44.M35 1992.

Magill's Survey of American Literature. Ref PS21.M34 1994 v. 1-8

Magill's Survey of World Literature. Ref PN523.M29 1993 v. 1 – 8. v. 1: Achebe-Chekhov; v. 2: Christie-Gogel; v. 3: Golding-Kipling; v. 4: Kundera-Osborne; v. 5: Ovid-Sophocles; v. 6: Spark-Zola; v. 7: Abe-MacDiarmid; v. 8: MacNeice-Yourcenar.

Masterplots II. Ref PN846.M37 1994 v.1-6. American literature and fiction (20th century), stories, plots, history and criticism.

Masterplots II: Poetry Series. Ref PN1110.5.M37 1992 v. 1 - 6. Poetry theme and motives.

Masterplots: 2010 Plot Stories & Essay Reviews from the World's Fine Literature. Ref PN44.M33 1976 v. 1 – 9.

Thematic Guide to the American Novel. Ref PS373.A33 2002 "...Systematic guide to central themes in 150 of the most commonly taught American novels."

Thematic Guide to the American Poetry. Ref PS303.P7.B87 2002 "The main section of the guide contains narrative essays on 21 alphabetically arranged themes that recur throughout the rich history of American poetry"

Twayne Companion to Contemporary Literature in English from the Editors of the Hollins critic. Ref PS225.T88 2003 v. 1-2. "The essays in this anthology constitute, then, a series of critical examinations of the work of 101 writers who were working or influencing the work of other writers over the past quarter of a century. ...If you're just looking for a new angle on a single author to get you through that looming term paper, I hope that you'll find what you're looking for here -and a great deal more that you're not looking for, too."

Citation of Sources

Suggestion: keep the printouts of your sources, or write out all pertinent information on author, title, publisher, date, Internet location, or whatever is necessary to identify where you got the information. Follow the format recommended by your instructor or ask a librarian to show you a "style manual". There is a link to instructions for MLA citations, as well as the online resource, NoodbleBib, a bibliography composer, on the LPC Library Homepage: Citation Style Guides.

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Last Updated: August 27, 2009


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