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ENGL 151L: Literature: ENGL 151L: Yanulus

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

Author Project Assignment Overview

This page is intended to help students in Professor Helen Yanulus' ENGL 151L class with their author project assignment. The assignment asks you to research an author of your choice from the course calendar, research the author, present your findings in class, and create a handout about the author to share with your classmates. For the assignment's complete guidelines and instructions, see the class syllabus posted in Blackboard.

Need more help with this or other assignments for this class? If you have an embedded librarian in Blackboard, contact them directly or schedule an appointment with them for more help. 

If you don't have an embedded librarian in your class, see the Getting Help page of this guide to see how you can work with a librarian. 

What Information Do You Need to Find & Present About Your Author?

 Biographical information, including the author's full name, birth and death dates, and some other interesting information about their life.

 A synopsis (a brief summary or overview) of two major works written by the author. 

 The author's major contribution to literature according to you, and why you believe it is important.

 1 unusual fact about the author and why you selected it. What insight does it provide about the author or their work? 

 Explanation of how your research enriched your understanding of the work by the author read in class. Give specific examples. 

 Provide citations for at least 2 sources that you used for this research. Use MLA style and make sure you included in-text citations for each source. 

What are the Best Library Databases to Use to Biographical Information about My Author?

Most often, in these databases, you will be searching using your author's name as a keyword. Sometimes it may be helpful to put the name inside quotation marks, such as "Firstname Lastname."

How Can I Find Books About My Author?

SpartaCat, the library catalog, is the most direct way to search for books about or written by your author. In SpartaCat, use either:

  • an author search to find works your person has written
  • a subject search to find books with biographical information or criticism about your author

Searching with your author's name should lead you to sources.

For more detailed instructions and information on how to find Books and eBooks with SpartaCat, visit those pages of this guide.

What are the Best Library Databases to Use for Literary Criticism and Analysis?

In these databases, you should be able to search using both your author's name and/or the name of the works you are choosing to highlight. Again, putting your author's name or the title of the work in quotation marks might help improve your results. You may also be able to search on themes or ideas that appear in your author's works.  

How Should I Cite My Sources?

Most of the library databases will offer a suggested citation for any source you find in them. This provided citation is a good start, but may not always be correct. Be sure to check it against the MLA Handbook or use the NCC Library MLA Handout and correct any errors you find. A librarian or learning center tutor will be able to help you with citations as well.

What About the Research for My Essay and Final Research Paper Assignments?

You can search the same library databases and tools listed here for this assignment for the essay and final research paper that you will have later in the semester. The Books, Finding eBooks, and Articles pages of this guide may give you more suggestions of where to find your sources for these later assignments as well. 

When the Library Doesn't Have a Book or Access to an Article that You Want...

You may discover a book that would be useful for your topic and research, only to find that the library does not have it in our collection. Or an article that we don't have full-text access to through our databases. If that happens, you can submit an interlibrary loan request, and we will see if another library has the item and is willing to share it with us (and you). Plan ahead, as interlibrary loan items may take up to two weeks to arrive. Work with a librarian if you need help identifying books or articles to interlibrary loan or need other assistance with your request.