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Library Research Guides

ENGWR 301 - Professor O'Brien (Spring 2022): Getting Started

Tips for Approaching Research about Literature

Writing a paper for a literature class involves a combination of your own analysis of the text, supplemented by outside "literary criticism" by other scholars. The most important part is your own analysis: What do YOU think? How do you see your ideas supported in the text?

  • You'll likely need to read and re-read the text many times, and rewrite your thesis statement along the way.
  • You may also find that you'll figure out what you're trying to say as you write the paper, and it's okay to re-work your first paragraph after you've written half the paper.
  • Something else to note is that it's unlikely that you'll find a scholarly article that argues exactly what you want to argue, and that is totally okay. You can still reference that person's article and then expand on it with your own ideas.

Have a Question or Need Some Help?  Contact a Librarian!

There are multiple ways to contact a librarian for help with your research!  You can:

Happy Searching!

OneSearch in One Minute

Find Your Focus: 3:30 Technique

3 Minute Free-Write: Think about why you chose your topic and why it's important or interesting to you. Free-write for 3 minutes without judgement or editing

30 Minute Free-Read: Give yourself 30 minutes to research & read about your topic with no agenda. See where your reading leads you. 

After this 33 minute process, reflect on what aspects of your topic seem most interesting and important. Once you have a few ideas, do some more research to make sure you can find enough information to write your paper.