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. In the PHC Library catalog, you can search a variety of resources by title, author, keyword, or phrase, linking you to journal articles, ebooks, and print books in the on-campus collection. The more specific your search terms, the more specific the results will be.  For our Distance Learning (DL) students, excerpts from print items held in the on campus library can be provided on request.

If you are accessing electronic resources from off-campus and are required to log in, use your student portal user name and password to gain access. If you have difficulty with the website or accessing any resources, please let library staff know by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu or  library@phc.edu. 

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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

You can locate journal articles by title, author, keyword, or phrase or broase the following journals linked to the library's Periodical Listing.

  • English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920  (Online, 2004-Present)
  • Studies in English Literature, 1550-1900 (Online, 1975-One year ago)

Research Tips

  • Citation help needed? Try OWL (Online Writing Lab) for Chicago/TurabianMLA, and APA styling formats. 
  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you can click on the search term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects. Once you have located a helpful source, additional potential sources may be found in the item's bibliography.
  • Can't find what you need in the PHC collection? If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan. ILL requests may be made directly in the library catalog.
  • Research assistance is available in the library or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu

Created: Dr. Bonnie Libby/Thornhill, 2010. Revised: Libby/Thornhill, 2011. Reviewed: Dr. Steven Hake/Thornhill, 2012, 2014. Reviewed: Thornhill, 2016, 2017, 2019. Updated: Thornhill, 2020.

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