Skip to main content

ENGL 319CR: The Cunning Renaissance

General search tips

Depending upon the author or work you are researching, you may find that different amounts of literary criticism are available and that you may need to broaden or narrow your search terms accordingly to improve your search results. Some general tips:

  • Unless it's really distinctive, always search one word titles along with the author's name.
  • If you can't seem to find any articles or books on a particular literary work and concept or theme in which you're interested, try broadening your search by searching on just the author's name and keywords describing the concept or theme. (For example, instead of searching the terms "thomas middleton the changeling cunning," try "thomas middleton cunning.") Even if the articles or books you find don't mention the specific literary work you're researching, you may be able to apply analysis of the author's use of the concept or theme in their other works to the work you're studying.
  • If the previous technique doesn't work, you can make your search broader still by searching keywords describing the concept or theme in which you're interested and literature or drama as a whole.  For example, if you get no results searching for information about a particular author and/or work and how that author or work deals with psychology, you might try searching on the terms "literature psychology", possibly including keywords for the time period (renaissance or "early modern" or elizabethan or "16th century") and geographic location (england or britain) to narrow if you got a lot of results. You may find you're able to apply this broader analysis to the title you're studying. Better still, you may find that some of the books or articles you find this way actually do mention the work you're researching or at least the author - especially for books, check the table of contents and index! Note: this technique of researching the broader concept or theme rather than a specific literary work or author is particularly effective when searching the library catalog.

Literature-focused databases

Multidisciplinary databases

Search tip: When using a database that covers multiple subject areas, it's often possible to filter your search results by subject area.  If you're interested in literary criticism about your topic, make sure to filter your results by the subject "literature" and/or related subjects like "drama" and "theater."


Springshare's information on Accessibility in Libguides - - MHC Accessibility Barriers Form