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This is the "AP Literature Literary Criticism Assignment" page of the "Grayslake Central LRC" guide.
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AP Literature Literary Criticism Assignment Print Page
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Online Databases

JSTOR is a great place to search for Lit Crit.  Do an advanced search, limit to articles only, and narrow the discipline to "Language and Literature." 

On GALE Database you can try a "Power Search" which means you type the search term into the box at the top and any of the boxes checked off will be searched. I would UNCLICK the history and science databases as well as the Global Studies Database as these will not render the results you're looking for. DOING A POWERSEARCH DOES NOT SEARCH THE LIT CRIT DATABASES.

To search the Lit Crit databases use Artemis.  Search Streetcar Named Desire (play) first and then make sure you are looking at criticisms.  You may also search for criticism on other books you've read collectively as a group.

REMEMBER, you can also search for more general articles on your criticism!

 

Online Databases

Library Catalog

Username: your school username

Password: School ID number

 

First Search

Username: 100107125

Password: grayslake

 

Gale Databases

(GVRL, Opposing Viewpoints, LitFinder)

Username: rams

Password: rams

 

JSTOR

Username: rams

Password: rams

 

NoodleBib

Username: gcentral

Password: rams

 

SIRS Decades/Researcher

Username: grayslake

Password: rams

 

ProQuest (Newsstand & Historical)

Username: grayslake

Password: rams

 

Questions? Ask the library staff for assistance.

 

General Search Tips

This advice will help you improve your search results:

1. Use at least two or three search terms. By using more search terms to narrow your search, you can locate essays that fit your information needs better. The following sample results are hypothetical:

Search Terms

Number of Hits

War

198

War soldier

98

War soldier confederate

19

War soldier confederate prisoner

3

2. Be specific. If you’re looking for information about ancient Rome, enter both of those words in your search. If you enter just Rome, your search may give you essays that discuss modern Rome or Rome, N.Y., but not ancient Rome.

3. Find an exact phrase with the help of the W operator. You can narrow your searches by requiring that the search terms appear as a phrase in the order that you typed them. For example, if you are looking for time travel, search for these words as a phrase, time W1 travel. This narrows your results from hundreds of matches to a few dozen matches, assuming the phrase that you typed is not too common.

4. You can also mix phrases and single search terms in the search box. For example "ancient Rome" AND Caesar.

5. Broaden your search by using OR. For example, racism or prejudice. Unless you tell the search engine otherwise, it finds only those essays containing all of the words that you specify in the order you have specified. By inserting OR between your search words, you’ll find documents that contain as few as one of your requested words. Using OR will increase the number of essays that are found; use OR if your search isn’t finding enough essays.

6. Use plural or other word endings. For example, if you are looking for discussions of murder, search for various forms of the word using the OR operator as the connector, e.g. murder or murders or murderer or murderous. It is also possible, depending on the desired search term, to use the truncation (or wildcard) feature to retrieve both singular and plural forms of a word, e.g. murder*.

7. Try using synonyms for your original words. For example, "nervous breakdown" or "mental breakdown" or "nervous disorder" or "mental instability".

8. Check your spelling. If you type litrature instead of literature, your search won’t find any matches.

Capitalization

The search engine is not case sensitive. That is, use of capitalization does not affect the results of a search. For example, the following keyword searches are considered the same:

  • astronaut and spaceship or "outer space"
  • astronaut AND spaceship OR "outer space"
  • Astronaut and Spaceship or "Outer Space"
  • astroNAUT and spACEship or "oUtEr SpAcE"

Punctuation

Double quotes. The use of double quotes (" ") around a phrase may be used to make the search results more precise. Use of double quotes yields essays in which the words appear adjacent to one another and in the exact order in which you typed them. For example, searching for the phrase gothic romance yields any essays that contain both words in that order (gothic before romance). Using double quotes around the phrase "gothic romance" yields any essay that contains the exact phrase.

When a search yields an error message, try enclosing the search term in double quotes.

Hyphen. A hyphen (-) used between two words is considered part of the term. If you are searching for a word or phrase that normally contains a hyphen, include the hyphen and enclose the word or phrase in quotes:

  • "nineteen-thirties"
  • "self-doubt"

Apostrophe. Apostrophes (’) are not recognized by the search engine and should be deleted from search terms.

  • Salem Lot (instead of Salem’s Lot)
  • Chatterly (instead of Chatterly’s)

Search Operators

The Boolean search operators AND, OR, NOT, and proximity operators may be used to refine your search. Whether the operators are typed in uppercase or lowercase does not affect the search.

AND. Use the AND search operator to retrieve documents that contain both of the specified search terms. This operator places no condition on where the terms are found in relation to one another; however, both terms have to appear somewhere in the field you are searching. For example, a full text search for apples AND bananas will find any essay that contains mention both of apples and bananas.

OR. Use the OR search operator to retrieve documents that contain one or both specified search terms. This operator places no condition on where the terms are found in relation to one another; however, one or both terms must appear somewhere in the field you are searching. For example, a full text search for apples OR bananas will find essays that mention apples, essays that mention bananas, and essays that mention both types of fruit.

NOT. Use the NOT search operator to retrieve documents that do not contain the specified term. For example, a full text search for apples NOT bananas will find essays that mention apples but not bananas.

Parentheses. The operators described above each operate on either simple terms (words or phrases) or a more complex query delimited by parentheses ( ). Parentheses allow you to construct very powerful queries. For example:

  • "pulp fiction" AND ((detective AND crime) OR hard-boiled)
  • ("cowboy*" OR ("gold rush" AND california)) AND (18?? OR nineteenth century)

Boolean operators are applied in the order in which they appear. Therefore, the following searches are equivalent:

  • apples AND bananas OR oranges
  • (apples AND bananas) OR oranges
 

Library Books

Please check our LIBRARY CATALOG to see what books we have available for your project.  

Books on the cart are the most used for this project and will NOT BE CHECKED OUT.  Please plan accordingly and make photocopies or scan in any parts of the books you might need for your paper.  Ask if you need help making a copy or scanning.

 

 

Google Scholar

Feel free to use Google Scholar as another search option.  Click HERE for some search tips on using Google Scholar.

To do an Advanced Search, click on the down arrow on the right hand side of the search box.

 

Keyword Options

Here is some help when deciding on search terms.

POLITICAL or MARXIST THEORY

FEMINIST THEORY

GENDER/QUEER THEORY (search anything having to do with masculinity or sexuality)

ECOCRITISM or GREEN THEORY

DECONSTRUCTION

BIOGRAPHICAL (search the author's history)

HISTORICAL (search for the time period)

PSYCHOLOGICAL

ARCHETYPAL

Description

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