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English Literature I, II

Welcome to the Research Guide for English Literature I and II.

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Welcome to the research guide for your course in English Literature. The suggested databases are accessible from this page and from the Electronic Resources section of the library home page. Print resources are available in the PHC on-campus collection or by mail to distance learning members of the PHC community. You may check the location and the availability of an item in the on-campus collection through the online catalog, Voyager.

Professional library assistance is available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu.

On-Campus Collection

  • "Critical Insights Series" - very good (see specific authors to locate call number)
  • Oxford Companion to English Literature - Ref PR 19 .O94 2000
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature - PR 19 .O95 2008
  • Literary Criticism of Long Fiction - Ref PN 1625 .C68 2003
  • Literary Criticism of Short Fiction - Ref PN 3321 .C7 2001, 2012
  • Oxford Illustrated history of English Literature - PR83 .O94 2001


  • OED - The Oxford English Dictionary is the definitive work on the English language and a great place to start for general information if you are unfamiliar with an author or term. OED includes the first use of the word and changes in meaning over time.
  • MLA - is a resource for researching literature and language topics, including literary criticism. The site provides essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies.
  • Masterplots - database provides reference data, plot synopses, and critical evaluations of a comprehensive selection of English language and world literature.
  • Literary Reference Center - is an extensive, full text reference database with information combined from literary reference works, journals, and books. A search here is sure to bring results on any of a variety of literary topics.
  • Critical Survey of Long Fiction - offers 678 profiles of major writers of long fiction throughout history and the world, including analyses of their significant novels and novellas. Overview essays examine works within their context by time period, country, ethnicity, and genre.
  • Early English Books Online - offers access to full-text books printed in English from 1473-1700.
  • JSTOR - contains complete back issues of 241 scholarly journals in a wide range of disciplines. Issues from the most recent three to five years for each title may not be included in the collection. If you locate an article that is not available in full-text, check to see if the journal is available on any of PHC's other databases.
  • ProQuest - contains the citations and abstracts of over 1,000 titles in the broad areas of social sciences and law. Of those 1,000 titles, 710 provide users with full-text, images and graphics online. Indexing and full-text coverage begins in the early 1990s for most titles.
  • eBooks - provides access to over 65,000 academic, full-text, electronic books that can be accessed immediately on your computer. On first use, patrons are prompted to create a userID and password for future access.

Internet Resources

  • Norton Topics Online- contains background information, illustrations, and additional text, complimenting the print version of The Norton anthology of English literature.
  • Literary History- is a highly recommended, open access forum which was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the best 25 sources of academic articles and literary criticism for English and American authors of the 18th, 19th, and 20th century.
  • Academy of American Poets- features biographies of more than 500 poets with full-text poems, interviews, and audio/video options. Some poems are recorded performances by their authors.

Selected Journals

Research Tips

  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you may click on the subject term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects.
  • Once you locate an appropriate resource, potential valuable resources may be listed in the item's bibliography.
  • Interlibrary loan (ILL): If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC online or on-campus collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan. ILL requests may be made directly into the library database WorldCat. If you have difficulty requesting an ILL in WorldCat, please request assistance from any of the library staff.
  • Zotero is a citation management system that will help you collect and organize your resources and then seamlessly create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, and bibliographies. You can download and watch online tutorials, but you may benefit from a librarian’s help in quickly learning how to use Zotero.

Citation assistance needed? Try OWL (Online Writing Lab).

Created: Dr. Bonnie Libby/Thornhill, 2010. Revised: Libby/Thornhill, 2011. Reviewed: Hake/Thornhill, 2012, 2014. Reviewed: Thornhill, 2016, 2017. 

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