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ENG 501 — Advanced Studies in Literature (Hernandez)

ATTENTION: This research guide was last modified on February 02, 2009, before the January 2012 redesign of the library's home page. Information on how to access journal articles, databases, and other library resources may be inaccurate or outdated.

For up-to-date instructions on accessing materials, please visit our tutorial pages instead.

Gloria Anzald˙a

Contact Information

Carol Dales


Borrowing Books

Locating Books by Using ToroFind Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)

Using Databases from Off-campus

Recommended Electronic Databases for Literary Research

Searching the MLA International Bibliography

How to Do an Article Search in MLAIB

How can I get fewer results (narrow my search)?

How can I get more results (expand my search)?

Viewing the Results of a Search

What if CSUDH Doesn"t Have My Article?

How do I Use the MLAIB Thesaurus?

Can I Save, Print and / or Email Search Results?

How do I find an article in a specific journal?

Tips for using JSTOR

Selected Internet Resources

Borrowing Books
  • To borrow books, take your CSUDH photo ID with a current sticker to the Library Circulation Department on the 2nd floor of the library.
  • Before borrowing books, read the regulations on the Circulation /Borrowing Books page.
  • Use the Library's ToroFind catalog to search for books by author, title or subject. In addition to finding materials available in the CSUDH Library, you will find links that enable you to request books directly from other libraries (Worldcat and "All 23 CSU Libraries" buttons).

Here are links for other local libraries and libraries worldwide:

Locating Books by Using ToroFind Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)

Locating Books by Using ToroFind Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC):

  • Use keywords or Library of Congress Subject Headings to find books with literary criticism, critical or biographical information about an author, or information about a literary movement.
  • Search any author's first and last names as subject keywords when looking for critical books about that author's works.
  • Example of a typical "author as subject" entry:

    Anzald˙a Gloria--Criticism And Interpretation

    Here are other sample Library of Congress Subject Headings (aka LCSH )
    (don't bother to type dashes and commas when you type a search into the online catalog):
    • Criticism
    • Deconstruction
    • English literature -- Research - Methodology
    • Feminist criticism

"But I just want to browse...":

Many (but not all!) books about Latin American and Mexican literature may be found in the PQ 7100 call number area on the Library South 4th floor. Reference books are located on the 2nd floor (near the Reference Desk).

Using Databases from Off-campus

To use CSUDH databases while you're off campus, Adobe Acrobat Reader software (v. 7.0 or later) must already be installed on the computer you use.  Many articles are available only in .pdf (portable document format) format, and Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to read and/or print them.  Get a new Adobe Acrobat Reader free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html

If you need help logging in to CSUDH databases, click here .

Recommended Electronic Databases for Literary Research
  • Click on a link below to access the database of your choice or use our comprehensive list of Article Indexes to see all available CSUDH databases.
  • For an in-depth review of how to use databases to find journal articles, click here .
  • Note: In general databases such as Academic Search Premier and Humanities Full Text, you may limit your results to peer reviewed articles by looking for the words "scholarly" and/or"peer reviewed" and placing a check in the box beside these words (you can also do this in MLA).

List of recommended databases

  • MLA International Bibliography: (indexed bibliographic records, no abstracts; occasional links to full text) of scholarly research in literature, language, linguistics, and folklore from 1963 to date. The CSUDH LIbrary also has paper volumes of MLA Internationa Bibliography back to 1921! Note: As MLA Bibliography is the publication database of the Modern Language Association , (not-for-profit organization committed to the study and teaching of language and literature), it should be the first place graduate English students check for electronic resources! (see searching the MLA, below)
  • JSTOR:  indexing and full text of back issues of over 250 frequently used journals in language and literature, feminist and women's studies and Latin American studies , e.g.:  Cultural Critique, 1985--2006; supplies citations and abstracts only for 2007-2009 issues.  Most JSTOR language and literature titles are now indexed in MLA Bibliography.
  • Academic Search Premier: indexing, abstracts and high percentage of full text articles from journals in social sciences, humanities,   education, computer sciences, language and linguistics, arts & literature, and ethnic studies.
  • Humanities Full-Text (part of the larger database, Omni Full Text Mega): covers 1984 to date; includes indexing, abstracts and selected full text in Archaeology, Area Studies, Art, Classical Studies, Communications, Dance, Film, Folklore, Gender Studies, History, Journalism, Linguistics, Literary & Social Criticism Literature, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Religion and Theology; contains selected full text from 1995-date.
  • Digital Dissertations: citations, abstracts, 24 page previews as well as full text of many theses and dissertations from 1,000 grad schools and universities. Full text of recent CSUDH theses is at CSUDH Digital Masters Theses.
  • Project MUSE: includes indexing and full text of almost 70 drama, language and literature journals published by Johns Hopkins U. Press.
  • Oxford Journals: website of a major publisher of academic journals, many of which relate to literature studies.

Searching the MLA International Bibliography

How do I get to the MLAIB (without using the link above)?

  1. Go to the library website.
  2. Click on the grey Find Journal Articles Now bar.
  3. Click on "M", move your cursor down to MLA Bibliography & click it.

Does the MLAIB include any full text journal articles?

Yes, but fewer than 20% of the records for journal articles include actual links to full text .

How to Do an Article Search in MLAIB
  • MLAIB is not case sensitive.
  • Write down the most important key word or words that describe your topic. Whenever possible, list synonyms for each word, separated by OR. The resulting words and / or phrases are your search terms .
  • Type a word or phrase into the top Find box that describes what you are looking for:
    e.g.: border crossing

How can I get fewer results (narrow my search)?
  • type another word or phrase into the second Find box
    e.g.:identity (leave the small dropdown box to the left of your search set as AND).

    Your search then becomes:
    border crossing AND identity

This strategy narrows your search (fewer results) because both words or phrases you enter must be present in all results.
AND is a connector word (sometimes called a Boolean operator).
Combine search terms with AND whenever a search contains multiple concepts .

  • Limit your results, as needed, to a date range or to full text , or to a particular language , by clicking in the boxes below your search (just below "Refine your Results" on the LH side of your screen.
    Click "Show More" to make more changes to your search).
  • Use the connector word NOT ( also a Boolean operator) to exclude unwanted terms.
    NOT will narrow or limit your search (fewer results) because the excluded word must not be present in results: Hamlet NOT Branagh

How can I get more results (expand my search)?
  • Use a truncation symbol (an asterisk works in most databases):
         e.g.: child* retrieves records with child, child's children, etc.

  • Use a wild card symbol (a question mark works in many databases):
          e.g.: wom?n retrieves woman or women.

  • Add synonyms to your search with OR: e.g.: histor* OR past OR archiv*
          (type all related OR terms on one line). 
          This broadens the search (more results) because any of the words
          or phrases you specify may be present in results. (OR is a connector word
    or Boolean operator, just like AND and NOT .

  • Expand your search to include related words (synonyms and plurals),
    by checking the appropriate box at the top of the Search Options screen.

  • Check your search terms for correct and alternate spellings and typos.

  • Reduce the number of concepts you are using, e.g. if you are searching for three concepts, try searching for just two.

Viewing the Results of a Search

After entering your search terms and parameters, click the Search button.

The Result List will appear in table format listed by date, most recent first .
Optional: you can also sort articles by relevance or other criteria-see "Sort by" box, top middleof each Results page)

(Optional) You can click on the Add folder icon to the right of each result to collect all of the best results from searches for viewing/saving/printing in a folder.

Each record in the Result List shows search terms highlighted in bold italicized type.
Here are the two possible options, at least one of which will be offered on the last line of each record:

  1. 1. PDF Full Text or HTML Full Text  -links to Full Text articles from other EBSCO databases and electronic journals to which we subscribe.
  2.  The red and white "Find it @ CSUDH Library..." icon appears after articles for which the MLAIB database itself includes only a citation, in other words, full text is not included in the journal index!  However, full text MAY appear in hard copy somewhere in the Library OR in a completely different journal index. Click to find out!
  3. Records without links of any kind are usually records of book chapters or dissertations. Check for books by title and/or author of book ( after IN : in the database record ) in the Library catalog .
  4.  You may request dissertations and theses on Interlibrary Loan (if they are not already available through Digital Dissertations).

What if CSUDH Doesn"t Have My Article?

To request a book , you can either:

To request an article , you can either:

  • Request an article directly when the message "Full Text of Article is NOT available in CSUDH Library. Click HERE to request item from another library" appears after you click the red and white "Find it @ CSUDH Library" icon.
  • Use the online ILL article request form to submit an electronic request.

How do I Use the MLAIB Thesaurus?

If you are not sure of the correct descriptor (subject heading) for the topic you are investigating, the Thesaurus will help you find it. The Thesaurus currently contains almost 50,000 topical terms and over 325,000 names!

  • Click the Thesaurus button on the blue toolbar at the top of the screen.
  • In the box below the blue Thesaurus bar, type a term for which you would like to identify a subject heading into the Browse box and click beside the Alphabetical or Relevancy Ranked radio buttons.
  • Click the Browse button.
  • You will see your term as used in the database, or the correct term for your search term, as well as a list of narrower, broader and related terms.
  • You can click directly on these terms, check the boxes beside them to search a combination of terms or cut and paste them into the search screen where you are working.

Can I Save, Print and / or Email Search Results?

You can print, e-mail and save most individual articles, abstracts, and folders by clicking the appropriate commands on the EBSCO screens.

PDF article exceptions:

  • to safely email an article in .pdf format, open it, save it and e-mail it as an attachment.
  • a .pdf article longer than 10 pages usually will not fit on a floppy disk. Use a USB thumb drive instead.
  • save or print a .pdf article by clicking the appropriate icon closest to the open full text article (using the File/Save/Print menu in Internet Explorer usually will NOT work)

How do I find an article in a specific journal?

 Type small bits of information about the article into the database search boxes.

e.g.: Find an article in the Winter, 2003, issue of Papers on Language and Literature entitled: Performance Anxieties by Tim Conley.

  • type Papers on Language and Literature in the top search box.
  • type Performance Anxieties in search box on the second line
  • type Conley in the Find box on the third line (note last name only is needed.
  • click the Search button.  

If that doesnt locate the article, click "Journals We Have" on the LH side of the Library home page  and type the title of the journal into the search box to see whether other databases have the journal that contains your article.

Tips for using JSTOR


  • if you want only journal articles, check beside "Articles" (below "Narrow by...")  to eliminate reviews and opinion pieces.
  • Unless you want to search journals from all disciplines, remember to select from "Narrow by discipline and/or publication title" before you click Search.
  • default search is Full-Text; JSTOR has no subject headings or thesaurus, but you can limit to Abstract, Title, Caption or Author to refine your results (avoid "Abstract" as most articles don't have abstracts). 
  • Truncation : search for the singular and plural forms of a word by placing & (the ampersand on your keyboard, made by typing Shift 7) at the end of the singular form.
  • Proximity Operators : find terms within a specific number of words of each other using double quotes around the two words followed immediately by tilde ( ~ ) as a proximity operator and a numeral. E.g.: to search for an item with the terms Hamlet and mother within ten words of each other: e.g.: "Hamlet mother"~10 . Use this tip to achieve more precise results when searching the full text of long articles.
  • Relevance of Terms : increase the importance of any term in your search by using the caret symbol ( ^ ) followed by a number ("the boost factor"). e.g: example, the query: virtue^3 love gives instances of the word virtue in a document three times more weight than the word love (also helpful when searching the full text of long articles).
  • all articles are in .pdf format and require that a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader be installed on your computer (http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html )
  • use the Print /Save icons on top toolbar of Adobe Acrobat Reader, closest to the article full text (using Browser File /Save /Print menu commands produces flawed copies)
  • Citing JSTOR articles: the citation is on the cover page of every article you print; follow MLA guidelines.


Selected Internet Resources
  • MLA Formatting and Style Guide: created and maintained by Purdue University, an exhaustive and authoritative guide to MLA format!
  • Google Scholar Advanced Search: good place to try out a concept or combination of keywords that turned up nothing in MLA Bibliography or other databases; gives you an idea of "what might be out there" on a topic or approach that does not want to be nailed down in MLAIB.
  • Feminist Literary Criticism and Theory: includes information on different literary genres, specific historical periods, literature, and literary theory.
  • Voice of the Shuttle: renowned, gigantic, searchable database of humanities websites; look under contents for categories Literature (in English) and Literary Theory. (Note: the one link given for  Anzald˙a does not work, but you can find it here).