Literary Research Tutorial Module 1: Getting Started with Literary Research

welcome to module one of the literary research tutorial getting started with literary research after completing this module you will be able to identify the library and librarians as a resource for research in order to help you achieve academic success you will also be able to differentiate between primary and secondary sources and you will be able to identify appropriate library databases and resources for literary research you've just been given a research assignment in your English class and you need to conduct a literary analysis and write about a work of literature your assignment says you need to do literary research to find literary criticism about a work of literature you might think what does that mean how do I get started so what exactly is a literary analysis generally a literary analysis is an argument about a work of literature which in this case is the primary source in most cases you will research and analyze secondary sources which are about the work of literature the research you do supports your thesis or your argument once again the primary source is the work of literature you are writing about it might be a poem a short story a novel or a play secondary sources are about the primary source they will give you evidence to support your argument or your thesis literary analysis involves looking at several elements that may be present in literature such as plot setting point of view characters themes symbol metaphor genre historical context or style when you conduct literary research you will find secondary sources that discuss these elements before you start your research think about what you would like to write about you may want to explore particular literary elements that you found interesting for example in your literary analysis you might explore a theme analyze characters compare the same literary element in two different works or explain why a particular piece of classic literature is still relevant today as you think about the work of literature you want to write about come up with questions for example in the short story the lottery you might notice that the author uses symbolism your research question could be how does the author use symbolism to convey the theme of custom and tradition creating a week a research question will help you develop your thesis and focus your research when you conduct literary research you will find different types of secondary sources will help you answer your research question most of the evidence to support your thesis should come from literary criticism which is a scholarly analysis of a work of literature literary criticism is usually found in journal articles and books you might also find overviews plot summaries and encyclopedia entries which explained the work of literature in a general way a review is an evaluation of a work of literature usually to help you decide if you should buy a particular novel or collection of poems for example your assignment might specify what types of sources to use ask your professor if you are not sure now that you know more about literary analysis and literary research it's time to get started with your research the library is a great place to start your research the library has many resources to help you with your literary analysis the library's databases will help you find different types of articles such as literary criticism and overviews you can search the library catalog for books and ebooks about your work of literature or about the author you can find it all on the library website if you need more help ask a librarian call visit or chat with a librarian at the library's Reference Desk next we will look at the library website to locate specialized databases and other resources for literary research you can open up a browser go to the library website and follow along with the video to locate the library's databases go to the library website wwhen we D you slash library remember you can open up a browser go to the library website and follow along with the video next see where it says select databases by subject use the pull down menu to see the list of subjects select literature now you can see a list of the literature databases just below that where it says find books reserves Media is the Library catalogue this is where you search for books e-books and multimedia in the library collection there is also a literary research guide on the library website where you can explore different library resources for literary criticism on the left side of the page click on research guides from the list of subjects select English and then look for literary research this will bring you to a guide created by our library to help you find resources about literature now that you know where to start in the next module we will begin our research

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