English Literature

Primary Databases

Note: The MLA International Bibliography is available as a trial using the link below. Click 'Access Trial' when asked in order to access the trial.

In addition to find articles, try some of these:

  • The Literature Resource Center provides full-text reference & background material. 
  • Large scale journal article indexing is offered through Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Academic Search Elite, CBCA, Academic OneFile, and CPI.Q.  These all link you to available full-text through Get It! Trent.
  • Scholars Portal Journals allows you to search and browse much of full text e-journals available at Trent (but not all).

Choose your favourite, based on the descriptions of what they cover and which interface you prefer.  However, your best search involves a variety of these.

Not sure what all this means?  Review the tutorial on "Finding Articles".

Other Scholarly Databases

The following databases will be useful to some topics.


Tutorials and Help Pages

Troubleshooting Searches

Too few articles:

  • Check for typos and spelling. Consider using both American and British spellings (eg. behaviour or behavior).
  • Remove long phrases.
  • Make sure you're using a database that is likely to include information on your topic.
  • Try using other synonyms and alternate words joined by the Boolean Operator 'OR' (e.g. aboriginal or indigenous or First Nations).
  • Check your Boolean logic.  Are you using 'AND' when you should be using 'OR'?
  • If you have found at least one good article, look at the references of this article to find other related articles OR use the 'Find citing' or 'Find related' buttons when available in the databases.

Too many articles:

  • Add another concept to your searching using the Boolean operator 'AND'.
  • Add Limits (e.g. Peer Reviewed, Date of Publication, Language, Publication Type, etc.).
  • Check your Boolean logic. Are you using 'OR' when you should be using 'AND'?
  • When Keyword searching, try searching just in the Title field. This is not recommended for all searches, as you will eliminate relevant articles that don't have those keywords in the title, but it will likely find a few articles to get you started.
  • If you're searching in a database that covers all subjects (e.g. Academic Search Elite, Web of Knowledge), look for a database that is subject specific.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan is a system that allows you to request material from other libraries to be sent to Trent for you to borrow. Normally, there are no costs to use the ILL service. Plan ahead because it can take a few days or even weeks for material to be sent, depending upon availability.

Visit the RACER (ILL) page for more information.