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ENGL 151L: Literature: ENGL 151L: Rubner

Need to write a research paper about a short story, poem, play, or novel? Use this guide to find library sources!

Students in Professor Claudia Rubner's ENGL 151L classes can use this page for help finding sources for their Emma literary essay.

For this assignment, you are tasked with finding literary criticism and essays that analyze and interpret Emma and Jane Austen's writing as well as sources that provide information or analysis about the historical and social context (real-world ideas or events connected to Emma).

Below, you can learn more about some of your options for finding your sources for this assignment, such as:

  • Print & digital reserves books available to you, chosen by your professor
  • Suggested library collections and databases and search tricks common across databases
  • Suggested online sources and examples of online sources that you should avoid

Refer to Professor Rubner's complete assignment instructions and guidelines in your ENGL 151L course in Blackboard.

Print and Digital Books on Reserve

You can use books for either the literary criticism portion of your research or the social, cultural, and historical context portion of your research. The library's print and digital reserves collections contain books specially selected for this assignment by Professor Rubner. 

Ask for the following print titles in Reserves at the circulation desk at the Bethlehem Mack Library or request digital access to them with our Library to Go service.

Scanned portions of other books selected by your Professor have been made available in the Library's Reserves digital collection in Blackboard. You may already have access to them through your list of current courses, but if not you can request access through Library to Go.

To review the search process for finding other books in the library's collection which may be useful for you, see both the Books and Finding eBooks pages of this research guide. 

Library Search Tools and Databases & Basic Search Tips and Tricks

During class, your librarian demonstrated searches in these library databases, which contain literary criticism, critical essays, and biographical information for Emma and Jane Austen:

and this database and search tool, which you can use for both aspects of your research:

These search tips and suggestions might help you as you work in the above databases:


Try different combinations of keywords. Group keywords that represent one idea or phrases “inside quotation marks.” Combine separate ideas and search keywords with AND/OR connections. Examples: socioeconomics and marriage, “marriage plot”, “patriarchal society” and marriage and “regency period”

Results filters

Apply the following filters, if they are available and help your search:

  • Full-text*

  • Scholarly / Peer-Reviewed

  • Source or Document Type

  • Date or Publication Date

  • Subject (tags)

There may be others that will be useful to you, depending on the database you are using. 

Sorting results

Sort results by relevancy or publication date, depending on which is more important to you. 

Page tools and other functions

Look for page tools and functions that allow you to see a suggested citation for the source you are viewing, share or email the source, copy and paste permalinks or record urls, or search within the source. 

Online Sources & Sources to Avoid

For this assignment, the most appropriate online sources will be provided by:

  • Archives and museums
  • Universities and colleges

Look for content that has been written by experts or scholars whose background and qualifications you can verify. The information should be written at an academic level. Original and primary sources are ideal to use, but some secondary sources that analyze, summarize, or restate the original information can also be used if you have determined the author and information is credible. Your librarian especially likes the following online resource for this type of research:

Proceed with caution for other online sources, especially pop and entertainment articles. These tend to include information and content from non-experts and information that is very far removed from its original source or context. These sources are more likely to have inaccuracies and misrepresent information and facts.