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ENGWR 481 - Professor O'Brien (Spring 2020): Search Tips

Search Tips

Quotation marks: Use these around your keywords for what is called an exact or phrase search. This tool will give you specific (aka fewer) results because it searches for your keywords together. This is a great tool when doing a title search!

Example: "notes from the underground"

Parentheses: Use these around keywords separated by the word or to expand your search. In the example below, we are searching for (eliot and criti*) as well as (eliot and analy*) in one easy search. 

Example: Eliot (criti* OR analy*)

Asterisk: Use this to shorten a word and search for all possible endings of a root word, ie the search below is searching for critique, criticism, critics, criticize, etc. The asterisk will give you more results.

Example: criti*

Search Tips

Books on Literary Criticism

For this assignment, books on literary criticism will be very useful. Try searching with the author's name + criti*:

  • Example: "Gwendolyn Brooks" criti*

Then limit to "Subject" on the left and select "Literary Criticism".


Literary Criticism in Academic Journals 

Here are a few ways you can formulate a search for literary criticism in academic journals: 

Author's name Theme (criti* OR analy*) 

  • Example: Shakespeare Othello hero
  • Example: ‚ÄčAugust Wilson dream  (criti* OR analy*) 


Title Author's last name (criti* OR analy*) 

  • Example: "The love song of j. alfred prufrock" Eliot (criti* OR analy*) 


Title Theme (criti* OR analy*) 

  • Example: Othello hero (criti* OR analy*) 
  • Example: Othello "tragic hero "(criti* OR analy*) 


Remember to take advantage of the limiters on the left of your search results to ensure you are getting current resources that you can access!