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English 200A - Methods & Materials of Literary Research

Searching MLA for Secondary Criticism

Use MLA International Bibliography (EBSCO) to find critical articles.  This bibliography and database is the premier place to search for critical articles on language, literature, linguistics, and folklore.

Tips for searching MLA.
  • Do a keyword search and put your term in quotes.  Ex: "post colonialism"
  • Look for the subject headings in records you find helpful and re-do your search by subject.
  • Pay attention to where the citation comes from.  If it's a periodical title, click on the Find It box to see if we have print or electronic access.  If it's an article from a book, or refers to an entire book, search EUREKA by Book title (not Article title). 
  • Dissertations and theses might be found in "Dissertations and Theses Full Text - Part A: Humanities and Social Sciences (ProQuest)".  If you can't find it there, try requesting it through Interlibrary Loan.
  • Try using the truncation symbol, the asterisk (*), in your searches to allow you to pick up different prefixes and suffixes.  Ex: "post colonial*"
  • The majority of MLA citations will not include full text access, BUT DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED!  Just remember to click on the Find It box on the left side of the page.  If it's a journal article, there is a good chance we have full text access.
  • You can temporarily save items to a folder in the MLA database.  From the folder you can save, print, E-mail, or export them to a bibliographic manager such as EndNote.  However, do not store them longer than you absolutely need to, as there is no guarantee your citations will remain in the folder indefinitely.