Literature Resource Center - Tips

About Literature Resource Center

Literature Resource Center is your most current, comprehensive, and reliable online resource for research on literary topics, authors, and their works. Its coverage includes all genres and disciplines, all time periods, and all regions of the world. View search tips.

What you'll find in Literature Resource Center

  • Full-text scholarly articles from more than 360 academic journals and literary magazines—the majority peer-reviewed—as well as excerpts from scholarly monographs, literary correspondence and diaries. (After your search, select the Literature Criticism tab.)
  • Reviews of books of all sorts, from children's literature to adult fiction, from popular non-fiction to scholarly studies. (After your search, select the Reviews and News tab.)
  • Substantive biographical essays on more than 130,000 authors, providing insights into life and times, works, and critical reception. (After your search, select the Biographies tab.)
  • Full text of thousands of poems and short stories published in contemporary journals and magazines. (After your search, select the Primary Sources/Literary Works tab.)
  • Overview essays on thousands of books and literary topics. (After your search, select the Topic and Work Overviews tab.)
  • Links to editorially selected websites on authors and their works, as well as pictures of well-known authors and audio interviews and reviews. (After your search, select the Multimedia tab.)

New and updated material is added daily. For a complete list of journals, magazines, and reference book materials included in Literature Resource Center, see What's in Literature Resource Center.

Have a comment on this database? Contact us! Our editors and technical support staff are eager to hear from you.

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Searches

Basic Search
You'll notice that when you type a search term into the search box, you have several different options for the type of search you conduct. These allow you to decide from the start how broad or focused you want your search to be.

  • Tip: You can also improve the precision of your search by putting phrases in quotes. A search on remains of the day (no quotes) will return all items that contain the word remains and the word day within a few words of each other. A search on "remains of the day" (in quotes) will return only items that contain that exact phrase.

Person – by or about: If your search term is a name, selecting this option will bring back items that were written by that person or that contain a significant amount of information about him or her.

  • Tip: Keep in mind that several people may have the same name. There will be a way to narrow your search further once you get to a list of results.
  • Tip: If you need items only by or only about the person, you can either filter your results after they are returned, or use Advanced Search.

Name of work: This option will search specifically for titles of works (poems, plays, books, etc.) discussed in the database as well as for any copies of the work itself that may be present.

Keywords: This option will search for your term in key parts of each document in the database, such as the title of the item, subject terms or abstracts associated with it, and its first fifty words.

  • Tip: If you enter several words in the search box, Keywords Search will look for items in which the words occur close together in the text unless you separate them with the word "and."
    For instance, a search on Hemingway novels will find items in which the words Hemingway and novels occur within a few words of each other in the keyword sections of a document. A search on Hemingway and novels will find items in which the words occur in any of the "keyword" sections of a document.
  • Tip: If the title is a common word, such as Raven or Beloved, you will get more precise results if you also include the author's full or last name.

All text: This option will search for the words you entered anywhere in each document. As for Keywords, however, if you enter more than one word, you will get only documents in which the words occur close together unless you use and to separate them.

  • Tip: This is the broadest possible search, so if you are not getting enough results with the more focused search options, give this a try.
  • Tip: "All text" is your best choice if you are looking for a famous quotation.

Advanced Search: This search form gives you many more options to create a very specific search. For more information, use the Help feature within the database.

Person Search: This search is designed to create lists of individuals who fit a custom profile that you design. For instance, if you need a list of several English Renaissance poets, or Japanese novelists born before 1940, or Native American short story writers, use this feature.

  • Tip: Not everyone mentioned in the database has been classified according to all these criteria, although many thousands have indeed been classified. So keep in mind that your list will be representative, but not exhaustive. If you notice that we've missed a key name, let us know!

Works Search: This search is designed to create lists of literary works fitting a custom profile that you design. For instance, if you need a list of several English poems from the Romantic era, or Spanish novels by women writers, use this search.

  • Tip: Not every title mentioned in the database has been classified according to all these criteria, although many thousands have indeed been classified. So keep in mind that your list will be representative, but not exhaustive. If you notice that we've missed a key title, let us know!

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How results are organized

When you get your results, you'll see that they are organized into various tabs across the top of the results list. Any tabs that contain no results are grayed out.

The purpose of the tabs is to help you get to the type of information you need quickly and accurately. If you are looking for Literature Criticism or other analytical articles, look in the Literature Criticism tab. If you are primarily interested in information about an author's life, look at Biographies. We've tried to make the labels as clear as possible. A detailed description of the contents of each tab is in the table below.

In many cases, a single item will return in more than one tab. For instance, an article that analyzes an author's works but also contains a significant amount of biographical information will appear in both Literature Criticism and Biographies. A lengthy review of a book that includes some analysis of its literary elements will appear in both Literature Criticism and Reviews and News. Our goal has been to ensure that when you select a tab, all the content in the database that you would expect to find in that category will indeed be there.

  • Tip: Roll your cursor over the tabs in the product to see a brief explanation of their content.
  • Tip: The numbers in parentheses on each tab indicate how many results are in that tab.

 

Literature Criticism Academic, critical or analytical essays written by scholars, including all articles from peer-reviewed journals and all articles reprinted in Gale's various Literature Criticism series (Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Poetry Criticism, and so on)
Biographies Articles about the lives of authors and other individuals, the contexts in which they wrote, and overall critical reception of their works
Topic & work overviews Articles providing general information about topics, events, and the plots, themes, characters and contexts of literary works
Reviews & News Critical evaluations of books, theatrical performances, readings and films as well as news about literature and publishing
Primary Sources/Literary Works Texts of poems, stories and other creative works as well as first-hand accounts such as interviews, letters and diary entries
Multimedia Images, audio and links to selected websites
MLA International Bibliography Citations from the Modern Language Association International Bibliography, which indexes materials on modern languages, literatures, folklore and linguistics, will display in this tab when the Bibliography is cross-searched with other Gale literature content.

"Marking" a citation
By selecting "Mark" next to a result, you can select items from your results and save them to a list to open, bookmark, email or print later. Keep in mind, however, that once you leave the database your list will be lost.

Once you've marked an item, a "Marked Items" link will appear on the toolbar near the top of the screen along with a count of the number of items currently in the list.

You may collect up to 50 documents in your Marked Items list.

  • Tip: If you need to mark more than 50 documents during a single visit to the database, bookmark or email your list as it approaches 50 items. Then clear your Marked Items list and start a new list.

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Sorting and narrowing results

You have several different options to filter or sort your results within each tab.

  • Tip: These options will change only the results in the tab that is currently open. Your results in other tabs will not be affected.

Sorting results: A pull-down menu on the right-hand side over your results offers several different choices for changing the order in which your results display.

  • Tip: The Relevance sort uses a mathematical formula to determine how closely each item focuses on your search term.

Search within results: In the left sidebar, you can enter search terms and search within your results list.

  • Tip: If you deselect "within these results," the sidebar search will do a new keywords search of the entire database.

Narrow results: Options to narrow your search are displayed above the results list and in the left sidebar.

Above the results: The options will vary depending on the tab you are in. You may see options to limit your results to:

  • items that contain full text (as opposed to results that cite items you will need to link to or find elsewhere)
  • items that contain images
  • items from peer-reviewed sources (publications that publish an article only after it has been reviewed and accepted by subject experts).
  • Tip: Deselect an option to see broader results.

In the left sidebar: You can select from a number of options to see a very specific slice of your complete results list. The options will vary depending on the tab you are in and the content available. You may see options to limit your results by:

  • Subject: Subjects that occur most frequently in the items in your results will display in the sidebar. Select one to see only those results specifically about that subject.
  • Author – items by: A list of authors of items in the results will display in the sidebar. Select one to see only items by that person.
  • Document type: A list of the types of items represented in your results will display. Select one to see only items of that type.
  • Name of work: This will display a list of works that have the most related documents within your results. Select to see only items related to that work.
  • Person – about: This will display a list of people who have the most related documents within your results. Select to see only items about that person.
  • Publication title: Titles of sources that contain the most information about your search term will display. Select to see only items from that source.
  • Tip: Numbers next to each term indicate how many of your results match that term.
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  • Tip: After you have made a selection, an option to deselect will display in the sidebar.

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Opening and using documents

Open a document: To open a document from the results list, either select the title of the document or select one of the options under the citation. These may include Full text, View PDF pages, Citation, or Citation and abstract.

Above the document you'll find the essential elements of a document citation—title, author, source, date, and so on—as well as a number of links.

  • You can select the author of the item to find all items by that author in the database.
  • The title of the source publication links to additional details about that publication.
  • Bookmark this document will help you to create a bookmark in your browser or to copy or email the URL.
  • Tip: You can use the URL to return to the document at any time from any computer, as long as you have logged on to your library system.

Library links are added by your library to help you locate full text of the document elsewhere within the library network.

Below the document you'll find a complete source citation in Modern Language Association format. You'll also find the Gale document number, an identification number unique to the document.

  • Tip: If you are not in a position to bookmark the document, you can save this number and use it to relocate the document from Advanced Search.

Left sidebar

Search within this publication: In the left sidebar, you can enter search terms and search within all items that came from the same publication as the item you are looking at.

  • Tip: If you deselect "within this publication," the sidebar search will perform a new keyword search of the entire database.

Related subjects: Subjects discussed in the article will display here. Select one to conduct a new search on that subject.

  • Tip: Subjects displayed in this area can help you identify ways to broaden or narrow your research.

Toolbox
To the right of the document you'll find a toolbox with links to tools that will help you:

  • print, email, or download the document
  • create a citation and export it either via email or using citation export tools like EndNote, ProCite, RefWorks, or Reference Manager
  • view a rough translation of the document into any of several languages. Note that this is done via a "gisting" tool. It will capture the general idea or "gist" of the document but it will not create a completely accurate and grammatically correct translation.

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