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ENGL 2593: Images of Women: Databases

A course guide for ENGL 2593 Images of Women: An Introduction


Search Strategy Suggestions

Here are some suggestions to help you narrow down your searches:

  • Use the AND drop-down menus in advanced search to combine terms (such as the author of your work and its title; the title of your work and a theme or concept; etc).
  • Pay attention to the source types in your results. You are limited to scholarly books, scholarly essays, and scholarly journal articles. The first result in the example below is a dissertation, which would probably not be a good choice for this project. You can filter by source type in each of the databases on this guide.
    Source Types in Search Results
  • Use the date range options to narrow down results to sources that are more recent if you have too many results.
    Date Range
  • Start with MLA International Bibliography first!
  • After you've searched in MLAIB, you can supplement your searches with the other databases from your guide. For an idea of where to look for which source types, see below.
Best Bets for Scholarly Journal Articles Best Bets for Scholarly Books Best Bets for Critical Essays
MLA International Bibliography MLA International Bibliography Literature Resource Center
JSTOR Project MUSE Literature Criticism Online Archive
Project MUSE JSTOR Literary Reference Center

Database Tips and Tricks

Just like shopping online, before you look at those search results, make sure you are filtering your results. Filtering allows you to limit the number of results based on things like date range, full-text access, and even resource type.

The filters will often reset when you do a new search so make sure you double-check them. 

I often tell students to not even look at the results without filtering first.


Language is 90% of the search. How we describe something changes depending on time, location, and field. If you aren't getting the results you want, try changing the search terms you are using. Don't be afraid to pull out that thesaurus or even search in Google for related terms. 


It also helps if you search using quotes for search terms. Instead of the yellow wallpaper, try searching, "The Yellow Wallpaper". This tells the database to search not just the words, "yellow" and "wallpaper," but the phrase altogether. 


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