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How To: Literary Research

Click on the tabs below to learn more about how to conduct and write about literary research.

Welcome to the Literary Research Guide!

In this guide you will find information and guidelines for researching and writing about Literary Topics. It is organized into sections to help direct your search for information. In the left-hand navigation tabs, you will find:

This section contains helpful research tips, including key words for your search, discipline sub-fields, and related Library of Congress designations to help you find books on the library shelves. Included are links to resources defining the broad genres and movements found throughout literary history.

These resources are useful when doing general background research or searching for a topic. Most of the resources in this section will have broad information or summaries of events and topics and include subject specific dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other tertiary sources. Resources that are physically available at the library are listed under Print Reference Resources and those available digitally are listed under Online Reference Resources. Included are guides focused on researching and writing about literary subjects.

In this section, you will find links to specific databases and journals that are available through the WNC library that publish articles about the specific subject(s). Included are open-source journals and sites hosted by professional and educational associations

This section includes websites and other digital resources that you may find useful in your research. Resources are organized by general subject websites, those dedicated to particular types of literature, and websites dedicated to individual authors.

In this section, you will find basic guidelines and links to topic guides that cover the specifics of the citation styles that you may be using, including MLA, Chicago, and APA. 

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at and the library staff will be happy to help.