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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

E101: First-Year Literature Seminar

Start your research here.

Where to Start?

When you're just starting research, look for basic information to build your core knowledge of the topic. While many of us like to skim a Wikipedia page for this purpose (yes, even librarians do it), you can get even more reliable information from an encyclopedia article. Try:

Where next?

What kind of information do you need?

  • Books --> works of literature, theory, broad overviews of a topic, deep analysis of an author or literary work
    • Look in the Library Catalog for print books AND eBooks. You can make an appointment to visit the library or simply request items for pickup.
  • Scholarly articles --> literary criticism, theory, academic themes, connecting the dots between different works
    • Search the Literary Reference Center and MLA databases.
    • Find even more material using Fleet Search, which queries a lot of databases at one (including JSTOR, Literary Reference Center, and much more). Check the box that says "Peer Reviewed" to limit your search to scholarly material.
  • Popular sources --> Magazine articles, radio/podcasts, social media: interviews with authors, biographical information, current trends & context
    • Use Fleet Search, and click "Magazines" in the left filter panel.
    • Explore the broader internet, using your best judgement about what sources are trustworthy (don't forget the CRAAP test!). You can always ask your professor or a librarian!
  • Newspapers --> current events, politics, historic context, sometimes interviews