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ENG 3316 Women's Writing & Rhetoric: Finding Scholarly Articles

Most Useful

The three databases that will be most useful in finding scholarly articles for the rhetorical biography you will be writing are MLA International Bibliography (MLAIB), Communication and Mass Media Complete (CMMC), and Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL - provides broader coverage of British and British Commonwealth authors and British journals than does MLAIB, so if you are working with a woman who is not from the U.S., this may be a helpful source). I've provided links to each in the column to to right.

Search Tips for . . . 

MLA International Bibliography:

  • no comprehensive subject heading for "rhetorical analysis" when combined with a specific author's name (subject term for rhetorical analysis is used, but returns work on the methodology itself)
  • Best results using this search strategy: Author (last name first) AND rhetoric* - use the * at the end of the word to get spelling variations and plural forms

  • If this search turns up little or nothing in MLAIB, substitute the word criticism for rhetoric* and search through what may be a lot of results. You could limit the results by date - I'd recommend the last 5 years to start with.

Communication and Mass Media Complete:

  • Does have a subject heading for rhetorical criticism, which they define as " . . . works on the criticism of texts based upon their efficacy in communicating a coherent and persuasive argument." 
  • Use the same search pattern as for MLAIB, but use rhetorical criticism in place of rhetoric*


  • as with MLAIB, the subject term rhetorical criticsim does exist but returns articles on the methodology itself and isn't useful combined with an author's name
  • Must put author's name in the SUBJECT HEADING line (I recommend using the look up feature to find their form of the author's name)
  • Add rhetoric* in the KEYWORDS line
  • Checking the box for "include journal full text in keyword search" will increase your results, but may not produce useful results ("rhetoric" needs to be mentioned only once in the full-text of an article for that article to turn up in your results)

Database Links

University Libraries

One Bear Place #97148
Waco, TX 76798-7148

(254) 710-6702