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ENGL 201 (Larson): Home

History by the Decades and Literary Theory

Tips from the Librarian

Accessing Databases

Books, E-books

  • Use the MiraCosta College One Search to locate books, eBooks, DVDs, and online videos.

Try these Databases First

Reference databases (Background on Authors and Historic Eras)

Gale Virtual Reference Library, Oxford Reference Online

  • Brief overview articles on schools of literary criticism and the various theories from literature encyclopedias (highly credible sources for your research!). Reference sources, like GVRL, are also good resources for learning the context of a key theme, event, or time period in history associated with your selected work.

Biographical, bibliographical, criticism

Gale Literary Sources (includes full-text critical, biographical, and bibliographical content)

  • Advanced Search - limit by content type: biographies, literature criticism, multimedia, primary sources & literary works, Reviews & news, Topic & Work Overviews
  • Choose the "literature criticism" link after performing a search to access the full-text of critical articles.

Magill OnLiterature Plus (premier literary database, combining content of MagillOnLiterature and MagillOnAuthors)

  • print, email, download
  • EX:  Hosseini, Khaled AND "Kite Runner" (Advanced Search)

News Stories at the Time of the Book

New York Times Articles as far back as 1850

Find Articles: Explore your topic in-depth (Critical Essays about the Works)

JSTOR (full-text scholarly journal articles)

  • Basic search tips: to search a phrase, type a word or phrase in quotes "Hamlet"
  • Advanced search example: "Hamlet" AND gender (Advanced Search)
  • Uncheck the box next to "include links to external content"
  • Select Item Type: Article, under "Narrow By"
  • You can narrow your search by discipline(s), but it is not required


  • Try the Advanced Search to combine multiple keywords
  • Remember to check the box for Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals when you want to limit your results to only scholarly journal articles

More library resources,

  • check out our online research guide for "Literature"  (literary theory at bottom of the page)