If you are just getting started, you may need a reference source that can provide an overview of a subject, introduce basic concepts, summarize key issues, define terms and cite factual information. They include encyclopedias, dictionaries & thesauri, biographical compilations, and atlases.
A sampling of some of the reference books at TNCC. Click on the titles for location information.
In studying a literary work you may want to gather information that will provide greater context for the novel, short story, or poem. This may include finding information about:
For contextual analysis of a work, you may need to expand beyond the literature specific research tools. Journal articles and books in other disciplines may provide an analysis of a time period, event, or social situation. These may also identify appropriate primary sources that may be useful for more in-depth research.
To understand a literary work, sometimes it is important to understand the author.
You may find it helpful to do a little bit of research on other literature from the time period or era when your author lived and wrote. Geographical areas, cultures, and historical events may also work.
"literature" and "20th century" or
"literature" and "romanticism" or
"literature" and "Vietnam War" or
"literature" and "Latin America"
Try searching in the library catalog below to see what's available at the TNCC libraries.