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COMP 290: Writing about Literature (Sadow)

Librarian: Mary Lynn Bensen

Selected Handbooks of Literary Terms and Literary Theory

Dictionary of Literary Devices:  Gradus, A-Z                                  e-book in library catalog

Key Concepts in Literary Theory                                                      e-book in library catalog

New Handbook of Literary Terms                                                    e-book in library catalog

Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics                                e-book in library catalog

Finding Print and Selected Electronic Books in Milne Library

**Click on Advanced Search under Search Library

Select Library Catalog link at the top of the search screen. This is an index to the collections of Milne Library.

Any Field will search for keywords in fields of the item record, including author, title, subject, and contents.  Use drop-down menu to search for a specific field such as Author, Title, Subject.  Use drop-down menu under Material Type to choose Books.  Click on Search toward the bottom of the screen after entering search terms.

Search Tips:

  • Use truncation to search for variations of a word, including plural forms

Example:  postcolonial* searches for postcolonial, postcolonialism, postcolonialist(s)

  • Use quotation marks to bind terms together

Example: “narrative technique”

  • Add “criticism” to author’s name or title of literary work to find criticism and interpretation

Examples:  Jane Austen and criticism

                    “Paradise Lost” and criticism

After retrieving your list of results:

**Sign in with your SUNY Oneonta username and password to get complete results and to request items from other SUNY libraries through Interlibrary Loan (Resource Sharing).  This service is not available at this time.

Signing in also provides access to your search histories and allows you to create personal lists of useful sources to which you can later return. 

Click on titles to see more information about the source.  Click on the terms after Subject for lists of sources devoted specifically to coverage of the topic.

To access books:

For electronic books in Milne Library:     

            1.  Click on the title of the book

2.  Under View Online—Full text availability, link to any database listed and then to the                               

     full text of the book

 For print books in Milne Library:

1.   Note the availability status.

2.   Go to Get It! and select Request Item for Remote Check Out.

3.   The item will be checked out to you, and you will be notified by e-mail when it is

      available for pick up.  Pick-up location is in the Argo Tea lobby.  (Mon.-Sun. 7:30   

      a.m.–9:00 p.m.)

4.   Library items can be returned at any time through the book drops either on the  

      exterior of the Milne Library building (to the right of the main front entrance) or next       

      to the rear entrance of the library.

5.   Returned items will be quarantined for six days.

**Virtual Browse (at the bottom of selected records for print books) gives information about books on the shelf near the selected book title, which can also be useful, since like titles are classed together.

Finding Essays in Collections

Essay and General Literature Index (1985-present)                                   Under Databases

Indexes essays in book collections.                                                    on library web site

Essay and General Literature Index Retrospective (1900-1984)                 Under Databases

            As above, for earlier years.                                                                   on library web site

Finding Articles in Scholarly Journals

For academic research, it is often important to use peer-reviewed (or refereed) journals rather than popular magazines. Peer review is the process by which a journal article is evaluated by experts in the field. An example of a peer-reviewed journal is Narrative.  An example of a popular magazine is National Geographic.

Link to the following databases by clicking on the Databases link on the left side of the library web site and locating the database name in the alphabetical list.

Databases Covering Literature

Databases Covering Many Subjects, Including Literature

Finding Copies of Periodical Articles

Locating the full text of an article in electronic form:

If there is no full text with the citation for an article in a database, the full text of the article might be available in another database. Try searching for the journal title in the Journals tab on the library web site.  Follow link(s) to listed database(s).  If the article is unavailable in any database, request the article through the Interlibrary Loan link either in the database record or on the library’s web site.*

Locating the full text in print or microform:

If the periodical issue is listed as available only in print or microfilm, the article will not be accessible until the library reopens.

*Requesting an article on Interlibrary Loan:

If the article is not available at Milne Library in any form, request the article through the link Interlibrary Loan either on the library web site or in the database record for the desired article.  Registration on the library web site is necessary before submitting your first request.  Complete the appropriate request form, if you cannot find a link to Interlibrary Loan in the record for the desired article.

Finding an Article in a Particular Journal Title

  • Use the Journals tab at the top of the library web site.
  • Enter the title of the journal or magazine, for example, Past and Present, in the search box.  The title of the periodical, if available, will appear at the top of the results list.  Click on the title of the periodical.

  • If the title is available in a database, link to the appropriate database where you can search for the article needed.  Check dates of coverage to determine if full text for the needed article is available. 
  • If the title is listed as available in print or microfilm, the issues will not be available until the library reopens.


Mary Lynn Bensen (
Milne Library, SUNY Oneonta
November 2020