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ENGL 817: Publishing Practicum

Finding Books

Search the library catalogue, QCAT, to find books of criticism, biographies, bibliographies, concordances, literary glossaries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias on literary works as well as books on academic writing and scholarly publishing. 

Subject Headings vs Keyword Searching

Subject headings allow you to search the library catalogue for resources on a particular author or topic and are often more productive than keyword searches. 

Keyword searches work best if you have multiple concepts or topics. Use the results to find relevant titles and identify assigned subject headings for your topic in order to find similar books. 

In Literature. there are many ways to search for information on an author, work, genre or time period.

Finding Individual Literary Authors

For works on an individual author, do a subject search by the author's last name. Select the Subject search and type in the author's last name, a comma or space and the author's first name or initial(s).

dickens charles

This heading can be followed by various sub-divisions: Biography, Characters, Criticism and Interpretation, Knowledge, Religion, Political and Social views to name a few. 

Note the criticism subject heading used for an author will have the author's name, sometimes date of birth and/or death, and sub-heading "Criticism and Interpretation."

For a prolific author, there can be many sub-headings. 

SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM, 1564-1616 
CHARACTERS
COMEDIES
CRITICISM AND INTERPRETATION
CRITICISM, TEXTUAL
DICTIONARIES
DRAMA
ENCYCLOPEDIAS
ETHICS
FILM AND VIDEO ADAPTATIONS
HANDBOOKS, MANUALS, ETC.
HISTORIES
HUMOR
KNOWLEDGE
LITERARY STYLE
MUSICAL SETTINGS
OUTLINES, SYLLABI, ETC.
PARODIES, IMITATIONS, ETC.

 

PERIODICALS
POETIC WORKS
POLITICAL AND SOCIAL VIEWS
QUOTATIONS
RELIGION
SOCIETIES
SONGS AND MUSIC
SONNETS
SOURCES
STAGE HISTORY
STORIES, PLOTS, ETC.
STUDY AND TEACHING
TECHNIQUE
THEMES, MOTIVES
TRAGEDIES
TRAGICOMEDIES
VIEWS ON FEMINISM
VIEWS ON IMPERIALISM

Finding Literary Works by an Author

For important work with a known author, search by the author's name:

dicken charles 1812-1870 great expectations

Keep in mind that only major works will have entire books written about them.

Finding Literatures by Region or Genre    

Search for works on literatures or specific genres by country

African literature (English)
American fiction
Canadian literature
English literature

These headings can be subdivided by format, time period or topic:

African literature (English)--21st century
American fiction--20th century--History and criticism
English literature--Early modern, 1500-1700
English poetry--17th century

Finding Name or Topic in Literature

African American women in literature
African Americans in literature
Slavery in literature
Women in literature

Finding Authors by Nationality

African American authors
Authors Canadian
Poets English
Women authors English

Miscellaneous Subject Headings

African diaspora in literature
Femininity in literature
Gothic fiction
Horror tales English
Literature and history
Literature and society
Multiculturalism in literature
Politics and literature
Race in literature

Romanticism
South Asian diaspora in literature

Once you have found call numbers for a few promising books, go to the stacks, where you will find other related titles. 

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Browsing the Library Shelves

Browsing the library shelves is another strategy for locating information on a topic or author.

The Library shelves books on the same topic together and therefore once you have an useful call number, browsing can be an effective method for finding more books on your topic. 

Summon

Summon, the library's discovery search tool, searches through collections of books and e-books, scholarly journals, newspaper articles, theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, and numerous academic databases.

It contains everything found in the traditional QCAT Library Catalogue, plus millions of full-text articles and other digital content available from the Library.

When searching Summon for books, use the facets located on the search results screen, to limit your search results to books/ebooks.