Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Literatures in English Research Guide

The following is intended as a general guide to research in literature.


Books are an essential resource for research in literature, because they are:

  • Easy to browse
  • More likely to provide introductory materials
  • Broken down into chapters on specific topics

Notice you don't have to read the whole book!

For information on articles, see the article tab.

Catalogs (Search for Books Here)

Interlibrary Loan

Other Ways of Looking for Books

Searching for Books

Books on an Author or Work

You can find books about an author's work very easily.  Search for the author in the

Search with

Subject Begins with...

using the author's last name first.   

Because this is a subject search, you will find all the 

You will see a list that looks like this:

Dickens, Charles. 1812-1870. Bleak House.
Dickens, Charles. 1812-1870 -- Characters.
Dickens, Charles. 1812-1870 -- Characters -- Children.
Dickens, Charles. 1812-1870 -- Criticism and Interpretation.
Dickens, Charles. 1812-1870 -- Encyclopedias 

This is useful to scan through and find books on a particular subject.  You might find books about a particular work, or books about other aspects of the author's life and writing, such as their political and social views. The headings will also call out specific types of works, such as encyclopedias, which are often useful for background information on the author's world.

Finally, "Criticism and Interpretation" is always a good heading for critical works. 

Browsing the Shelves

Browse the Shelves

This is a very effective strategy for literature, because all the books on an author are usually shelved together.

Reference books are on level 3, while most other books are on level 5.

Use the call number in the catalog to find out where the books on an author are. British literature can be found under PR, American under PS. 

Other Guides on Literature