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ENG 535 — Studies in Renaissance Literature: Gender, Sex and Love in Shakespeare


Contact Information

Carol Dales


Borrowing Books

Locating Books and eBooks 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 it?

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 Advanced JSTOR USers

Film Review Resources

Selected Internet Resources

Borrowing Books
  • 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.
  • To borrow books, take your CSUDH photo ID with a current sticker to the Library Circulation Department on the 2nd floor of the library.

Here are links for other local libraries and libraries worldwide:

Locating Books and eBooks 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 last and first names )in that order) as subject words when looking for critical literature about that author's works. 
Examples of  typical "author as subject" entries: 
Shakespeare William 1564 1616 Characters Women 
Shakespeare William 1564 1616 Criticism And Interpretation 
Shakespeare William 1564 1616 Measure For Measure

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

Most books about Renaissance and Elizabethan drama as well as books by and about Shakespeare and his works may be found in the PR 2900 - PR 3100 call number area on the Library 4th floor South (new wing).
Reference books are in the PR 2900++ area on the 2nd floor (near the Reference Desk).


The library also has several collections of ebooks (books that have been scanned in that you can access from home using the library website). Many of the newest books acquired by the library are in ebook format.

Direct links to ebooks that may be useful:

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 a recommended database or use our comprehensive list of journal article databases 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, a few abstracts; occasional links to full text) of scholarly research in literature, language, linguistics, and folklore from the 19th century to date). Note: As MLA Bibliography is the database of the Modern Language Association , (a 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 200 frequently used language and literature journals, e.g.:  Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 1961-2006; most JSTOR language and literature titles are now also indexed in MLA Bibliography (see JSTOR Tips, below).
  • Academic Search Premier: indexing, abstracts and high percentage of full text articles from journals in many areas including humanities, language and linguistics and arts & literature.
  • Project MUSE: includes indexing and full text of over 150 drama, language and literature and renaissance studies journals published by Johns Hopkins U. Press.
  • Oxford Journals: website of a major publisher of academic journals, many of which contain literature studies.

Searching the MLA International Bibliography
  •  What is the MLA International Bibliography?

    bibliographic database produced by the Modern Language Association of America.

-    provides access to scholarly research worldwide in nearly 4500 literary journals and series, monographs, proceedings, bibliographies, etc.

-  contains no abstracts and no full text of any of the materials it indexes, but 10-15% of MLA records
contain links to full text articles.

-    CSUDH Library does not own all of the materials or subscribe to anywhere near all of the journals indexed in MLAIB, but we can obtain most items through Interlibrary Loan.



  •  How do I get to the MLAIB (without using the link above)?
  1. Go to the library website.
  2. Click on "Databases by Title" (just below the heading Articles, E-Books, Online Scholarly Resources).
  3. Click on "M", move your cursor down to MLA Bibliography & click on 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. 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.: Shakespeare
  • The simplest search yields the largest number of results. Start with one term or phrase and add others as needed to get a smaller set of results.

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

Type another word or phrase into the search box on the second line. 
e.g.: gender

Leave the small dropdown box to the left of your search set as AND . Your search then becomes: Shakespeare AND gender
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 the  green "Limit your Results" bar).

Choose an appropriate Field Code from the All Fields list on each search line you use.

e.g:, to search for the subject "Psychoanalytic criticism", enter it in the search box, and select SU-Subjects-All. You will then be searching only the Subject field of each record.

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 truncation symbols, e.g. child* retrieves records with child, child's, children, children's, etc.
  • Use wild card symbols,   e.g. wom?n retrieves woman or women in one search.
  • Add synonyms to your search with OR:
    e.g., cinema OR theater OR theatre OR film or motion picture or movie
    (type all related terms on one line)
  • If the database has a Thesaurus or subject index, check there for more possible search terms.
  • Check search terns for correct and alternate spellings and typos.
  • Reduce the number of concepts, e.g., if you were searching for 3 concepts, try searching for 2.


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 Relevance (articles with the most ocurrences of your search terms will appear first.
Optional: you can also sort articles by newest first (Date descending) or other criteria--click the arrow by "Relevance sort" and a dropdown menu will appear)

(Optional) You can click on the Add folder icon after the Abstract in each result to collect all of the best results from searches for viewing/saving/printing in an electronic 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. 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 Lib..." botton 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 database. 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 it?

To request a book , you can either:

  • Try the buttons under the Search for, or Request Books & Articles NOT in CSUDH Library at the bottom of the CSUDH University Library Catalog web page to check for holdings at other academic or large public libraries you can visit in person.
  • Request books through Interlibrary loan by following prompts or use the online ILL book request form to submit an electronic request.

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 Lib" button.
  • 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 49,000 topical terms and 327,000 names.

  • Click the Thesaurus button on the blue toolbar at the top of the screen.
  • In the box just below the wide blue divider line, type a term for which you would like to identify a subject heading into the Browse box and click beside the Term Contains 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?
  • to safely email an article in .pdf format, open it, save it and e-mail it as an attachment.
  • 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.
    • save a .pdf article by clicking the Computer disc icon closest to the full text article while it is open in Adobe Reader (using the File/Save/Print menu in Internet Explorer usually will NOT work).
    • To print an item in PDF Full Text format, you must use the Adobe Reader Print option. When viewing the PDF document in your browser window, the Adobe Print option (a printer icon) is included on the Adobe Reader toolbar located above the article, or use the printer icon in the toolbar on the RH side of the open article.

    How do I find an article in a specific journal?
    • If you thiink the article may be indexed in the MLAIB, enter bits of the information you know into the MLA search boxes.

    e.g.: to 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 the search box on the second line
    • type Conley in the Find box on the third line
    • click the Search button.  


    If the article does not appear, follow the process in this tutorial: Find A Specific Article Online.

    Tips for Advanced JSTOR USers
    • if you want only journal articles, check beside "Journal Articles" (below "Narrow by...") to eliminate reviews and opinion pieces.
    • Unless you want to search all JSTOR journals from all disciplines, remember to scroll down and "Narrow by discipline and/or publication title" before you click Search (choose "Language and Literature" for most English literature research).
    • 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 (note: limiting to Abstract does not work well because many articles in JSTOR lack abstracts!).
    • Truncation: search for the singular and plural forms of a word by placing an asterisk * (made by typing Shift 8 on your keyboard) at the end of the singular form.
    • Proximity Operators : find single word terms within a specific number of words of each other by using the dropdown box under "AND" . E.g.: to search for an item with the terms Hamlet and mother within ten words of each other, click the tiny arrow by "AND" and set it to "Near 10". (this tip will NOT work for phrases-it works for single words only. 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 .
    • Click Help beside the red JSTOR logo in the upper RH corner of your screen for more useful hints.

    Film Review Resources

    -contains serious film and other performing arts criticism from publications including Film Journal, Film and Culture, Historical Journal of Film, Film Quarterly, Historical Journal of Film,  Quarterly Review of Film Studies, Film Criticism, Literature/Film Quarterly, etc.

    -suggested search Strategy

                                       - enter film title as a Keyword search, or

                                       - enter director's name, last name first, as a Subject search

    •   Print Reference Books:
      • Film Review Index (2 vol.) (Ref PN1995 .F54 1986 )
        Citations to criticism of popular and landmark films; covers news and popular magazines as well as trade publications.
      • Index to critical film reviews in British and American film periodicals. Stephen Bowles, ed. (3 vol.) (Ref PN1995 .B64) Indexes reviews in 31 scholarly film periodicals through 1971.
      • Motion Picture Guide (Ref PN1995 .N346 1985)--12 vol. set offers brief plot summaries and an overview of critical reception and public reaction to American and foreign films and silent films. Volumes 11 and 12 are an index to films released before 1985. (CSUDH does not own the accompanying annuals for post-1985 films).
      • The New York times film reviews. (Ref. PN1995 .N4) Reprints of 17,000+ full reviews as they appeared in The New York Times. Covers 1913-1988.

    Selected Internet Resources
    • Google Scholar Advanced Search: good place to try out a concept or combination of keywords that turned up LITTLE OR 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. This link will include CSUDH results whenever they are available.
    • Feminist Literary Criticism and Theory: includes information on different literary genres, specific historical periods, literature, and literary theory
    • Literary Resources on the Net: a metasite of literary resources maintained by a dedicated Rutgers University professor; contains numerous links to e-texts and links to pages about individual authors.
    • Renaissance Materials: sub-page of the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts U., with primary and secondary resources in early modern English literature, particularly Shakespeare. 
    • Luminarium: English Renaissance Drama: Lush graphics and sound files enhance this extensive index of biographies, essays, images, full-text works and scholarly articles on the major English Renaissance literary drama figures, as well as links to many other sites covering general aspects of the era.
    • Shakespeare Searched: a search engine designed to provide quick access to passages from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets, this has received rave reviews from scholars everywhere.
    • SHAKSPER: the Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference: home page of an international electronic conference for Shakespearean researchers, instructors and students; also features links to many other web resources on the Bard.
    • Voice of the Shuttle: renowned, gigantic, searchable database of humanities websites; look under contents for categories Literature (in English) and Literary Theory.
    • World Shakespeare Bibliography Online: comprehensive bibliography that will eventually provide annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions, reviews of productions, audiovisual materials, electronic media, and other scholarly and popular materials related to Shakespeare published or produced since 1900 (unfortunately, CSUDH does not currently subscribe)