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English Resources: Getting Started

Guides to Literature

Found on the Internet

Helpful Tutorials

Library Catalog: CONSORT

Reference Resources

Reference tools such as biographies, bibliographies, and encyclopedias can provide useful overviews of a topic, a time period, a genre, or an author's life and works. These are general literature reference tools, but keep in mind that there are also many author- or subject-specific resources in the reference collection, and that it might be helpful to browse the PN (general literature), PR (English literature), or PS (American literature) call number ranges to see if your topic is represented in a specialized reference work.

General Literary Background Information

Use these resources to find author biographies, critical essays, histories, and other general background information.

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Contemporary Authors

Contemporary Authors

To use Contemporary Authors, consult the most recent Cumulative Index (from the New Revision Index v. 1-256). For each author, there is a list of references: CANR refers to Contemporary Authors New RevisionCA is Contemporary Authors, and DLB is Dictionary of Literary Biography, another useful series. The number after each abbreviation is the volume number; entries within each volume are alphabetical by the author's last name.

The Contemporary Authors series is a set of bio-bibliographical guides to writers of fiction, poetry, journalism, drama, film, and more. Each entry includes a biographical sketch, a bibliography of the author's works, and an essay that includes information about critical assessments of and engagements with these works. You'll also find a selection of biographical and critical sources listed for further reading.

Writing and Citing

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