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ENLS 7860: The Art of Losing (Zumhagen-Yekplé)

Library research guide for Prof. Zumhagen-Yekplé's graduate course

Everything Search

When you compose a search query on the library website's search box and leave the scope setting set to "Everything" (the default setting), you will be searching print books, ebooks, and most of our databases, among other things. (This can be changed using the dropdown on the main page or radio buttons on the Advanced Search page.)

Screenshot of radio buttons delimiting the scope of a search on the library's main search tool

If the number of results you get is overwhelming, look at the filtering tools to the left of your list of results to see which databases contribute the greatest number of items to your results list. (You'll need to scroll down to find this list of databases in the different filters in the library website's search interface.) Searching individual databases may make it easier to sort through a large set of results.

The same panel of filtering tools can also help you find important search terms to add to your list of keywords for searching. Look for the "Subjects" filter and see what terms are used to describe subtopics that appear within your search.

Remember: You can't "talk" to the library search box in the same way that you can Google or another search engine. Instead, you must focus on finding the most relevant keywords to bring back useful results.

The databases above contain only materials that focus on literary studies. If you are doing interdisciplinary work, consider our other subject guides to find databases that focus on other academic subjects.

Of this list, MLA and Project Muse are focused more exclusively on literature and culture. JSTOR and Academic Search Complete have a much broader scope, but provide significant coverage of humanities topics. They can also be very useful for interdisciplinary work.

Books and eBooks

To search for ebooks, books, and other physical items available for access or checkout from the library, set your search scope to "Library Catalog." Books differ from scholarly articles in terms of length and breadth, so they can cover a wider set of topics at greater length. Neither type of resource is inherently better, but it's good to be aware of the difference between the two.

The detailed record for print books includes a virtual browse carousel at the very bottom of the page that lets users see what other print books are shelved next to it. Because our print books are arranged by subject, books on the same topic will usually "live" next to each other on the shelves.

Screenshot showing virtual browse feature at the bottom of a record for a print book

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