• Searching Free Web for Literary Criticisms

  • Research Tip for Free Web:
    The free web is not generally a very good place for finding "literary criticisms," because these are scholarly sources that people don't usually give away for free on the free web. This is why you would usually be expected to use only library databases for this kind of research. In the event that the databases don't offer enough sources for you, however, you can try to find good "literary criticisms" on the free web. Here are a few tips that might help:
    • Watch your keywords!
      • Try typing your novel's title in "quotation marks" AND the term "literary criticism"
        • You might also try substituting the term "literary criticism" for the term "literary analysis"
    • Add a "file type" function to search only for pdfs.
      • just add filetype:pdf to your google search
    • Add a "top level domain" site function search to search for results only from educational institutions
      • just add site:.edu to your google search
    • Try Refseek- Refseek.com is another great search engines which tends to be better for academic research than google.

    **Be careful not to confuse a book review with a literary criticism. They are not the same thing.

    **When in doubt, ask your ELA teacher or Miss Bogan for help.

  • #1. Research Skill: Keywords & Search Strings

    1. Create a Keyword Bank:
      1. Write down the important words, names, or ideas relating to your topic that you currently know.
      2. Add more words, names, and ideas as you discover them in your research.
      3. Sometimes your original keywords will not bring you the expected results, so it is important to have a bank of alternate search terms ready to go.
      4. example 1
    2. Create a Search String:
      1. You should always research by searching carefully selected keywords NOT entire sentances!
        1. Putting "and" between two keywords will NARROW your results so only results with BOTH terms will show up.
        2. Putting "OR" between two keywords will EXPAND your results so results with EITHER of the terms will show up.
        3. Putting "NOT" between keywords will LIMIT results to ignore results with certain words.
      2. examples2
  • Creating a better google search

    keywords      quotations
    dates      domain  
  • How to Use Wikipedia (the right way) for Academic Research:

    1. You CAN use Wikipedia:
      1. Use it to find keywords for your search strings
      2. Use it to familiarize yourself with the broad overview of your topic
      3. Use it to get background info on a topic
      4. Use it to find other sources (go to bottom of page, explore cited sources there)
    2. You just cannot quote from, or cite Wikipedia as a source
      1. Why? Because, even though Wikipedia has become an exceptional information resource, it IS a Wiki, which means that someone could technically add misinformation. Since we can never be 100% absolutely certain of the author of the information, Wikipedia itself cannot be quoted or cited as a reputable source.