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FYS 1399 - 20th Century Novel: Library Tool Box - The Basics

The very basic sources, tools, and techniques to conduct college-level research in literature. What tools to use to find books and scholarly journal articles, how to contact the subject librarian for the Honors College.

Basic Tools

Effective Searching

You can search BearCat and the various databases I'm pointing you to most effectively if you do the following:

1. Search for authors last name first, (Joyce, James)

2. Divide your search into three parts:

a) Search for your author as author to find the books s/he wrote
b) Search for your author as subject to find works about your author
c) Search for the specific novel by its title with the word criticism after it (To the Lighthouse criticism)

You can also search for a specifc character or literary theme - especially useful in the databases.

Short Stories: You can search for the name of the short story, but if you don't find anything also search for the name of the collection the short story appeared in or combine the title of the short story and its theme or the name of a character from the story.  Use the tips on searching with Boolean operators in the next paragraph to learn how to combine terms for a shorter list of results.

You'll also want to consider combining keywords with Boolean operators (and/or/not) to get just a few really good results rather than lots of results. 

AND: both terms need to be in each item in the result list.So if you want to find an article on the theme of Catholocism in Brideshead Revisited, you would use and to get both terms in your results: Brideshead Revisited and Catholic. 

OR: either term can be in each item in the result list. If you wanted articles on women or feminine in Brideshead Revisited, you'd write it out like this: Brideshead Revisited AND (women OR feminine)

NOT: the word(s) after the NOT won't be in any of the results.  You're tired of looking at articles on the Catholic influence on James Joyce's work so write your search this way: Joyce, James NOT Catholic

Basic Services

Do we have this book/article/DVD here?

You'll use BearCat to find out if we own a book or a specific journal/magazine and our databases (guides to the articles published in journals, magazines and newspapers) to identify useful sources for assignments and papers.  Where do you go from there?  The items below link to explanations about how to locate items in the Libraries and how to get what we may not have.

University Libraries

One Bear Place #97148
Waco, TX 76798-7148

(254) 710-6702