Not sure how to construct the right kind of search for finding literary criticism? Try to focus your search on three keyword concepts: Author, Text, and Topic. See examples below.
|Topic||Use a topic related to your central argument, such as:
Then, think about how you can combine your keywords using AND or OR.
So how does this translate? Let's say you were writing a paper about race in Shakespeare's Othello. Some of the searches you could try include:
In an "Advanced Search" option, you can connect search terms the following ways:
AND - narrows your search results by looking for two (or more) keywords at the same time.
Example: "Milton" AND "elegy" gets results that include both terms.
OR - expands your search results by searching for more than one keyword at a time.
Example: "theatre" OR "theater" searches for results that include either term (helping you get results for variant spellings or synonymous keywords).
NOT - narrows your search results by excluding specific words from your results.
Example: "Milton" NOT "poetic structure" will return results that mention Milton, but do not mention "poetic structure." This option helps you eliminate irrelevant results from your search results.
Tip: use ONE search term per search box.
Use these to limit your search to an exact phrase.
Example: "Jane Eyre" limits your search to the exact name Jane Eyre. (**Try Googling your name, or your professor's name, with and without question marks around the name).
You can use truncation to search for all the endings of a word in one search. Most search tools use the asterisk (*), but some use and exclamation point (!) or dollar sign ($). Check the help function if your search isn't working.
Example: Shakespear* searches for Shakespear, Shakespeare, Shakespearean, Shakespeare's, etc.
A wildcard lets you search for different letters in a word. This can be useful to search for plurals and alternate spellings. A question mark is used in place of the letter.
Example: "wom?n" searches for "woman," "women," and "womyn."