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EN 316: Theoretical Reading of 19th-Century Novels from Britain & Europe

Background Sources

Using Reference Sources

Literary theory gets complex pretty quickly.  You may come across terms or concepts that you don't quite understand and that aren't clear from the context.   That's when background sources such as the ones listed here may be of use.  Use them to get a quick definition, more information about a concept or theorist, or plot summaries of other books by the authors you're examining that you haven't read.  

Reference Tools: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias and Handbooks

 Background Sources

Reference tools such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are good places to start your research because they provide an overview of the topic as well as keywords, dates, and facts.

Search Tips:

  • Try looking at the bibliography at the end of the entry for a list of other sources such as relevant journal articles and books.
  • When you have found books on your topic, look at the books on the shelf nearby to see if they are related to your topic.