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ENGL 1012: Madeleine Crum: Getting Started

Research Guide for Prof. Madeleine Crum's ENGL 1012 Class, Spring 2021.

Encyclopedia Articles

5. From the Library’s website, you will now have access to hundreds of different databases and search tools. To get started, click on the "Databases" link above the big search box (indicated by a blue arrow).

6. You will have the option to "Find Databases by Subject" or "Browse Databases by Title." Go to "Browse Databases by Title." 

7. Click on the letter G, then click on Gale eBooks. If you are already logged in for off-campus access, you will be taken straight into the database. If you are not yet logged in, you will be prompted to do so. (See the "Authenticating Remotely" tab of this guide for instructions.)

This database (Gale eBooks) can be a good place to start when you’re just beginning research on your topic, and you're looking for background information, biographies, or a topic overview. This database searches across hundreds of online, AUTHORITATIVE encyclopedias, and the entries are written by scholars who are experts in research in particular fields. If your inclination is to start with a Wikipedia article, try this instead!  At the end of most articles, you will also see a bibliography or further reading list, which is a great way to start compiling a preliminary list of potential sources for your paper.

Sample searches:

  • autofiction
  • autobiography
  • "African American" AND (autobiography OR autofiction)
  • "travel diary"
  • memoir
  • "Alison Bechdel"

Sample search results from Gale eBooks:

Note that the entries are from a variety of subject encyclopedias, which can be helpful in understanding how different disciplines frame a particular topic. A hip hop or music encyclopedia will approach afrofuturism differently than an encyclopedia of literature, for example. This can be helpful in determining how you want to approach a topic.

Sample paragraph (from sample article) in Gale eBooks

Sample bibliography (from sample article) in Gale eBooks: