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American Literature

A guide to resources for the study of American literature.

Finding Articles about American Literature

Where English language is predominantly spoken.

OneSearch Peer-Reviewed

Search for Articles in Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Databases for Literature and Related Subjects

Use these databases to find articles on American literature and language.

To find the full text of the article, click on a link to the full text or the   button in the database.  Many journals are available online, but some are in the Libraries' print collection.   Articles from journals not available at FSU may be requested through interlibrary loan.

General Databases

To find the full text of the article, click on a link to the full text or the   button in the database.  Many journals are available online, but some are in the Libraries' print collection.   Articles from journals not available at FSU may be requested through interlibrary loan.

Search Hints

Most databases offer more advanced search operators in addition to the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT.  These functions can be very helpful in narrowing down your search or collapsing multiple searches into one.  Here are some common advanced search operators to try:

Nesting: Use () to group terms together (ex. American authors AND (England OR France) searches for american authors connected with England and/or France).

Proximity: Use NEARx to search for terms within x words of eachother (ex. Athens NEAR4 Georgia searches for Athens within four words of Georgia)

Truncation: Place an * at the end of a word to catch mulptiple endings (ex. writ* will search for writ, write, writes, writer, etc.)

Wildcard: Use the ? to represent a single letter (ex. wom?n will search woman and women)

NOTE: Search operators vary slightly by database.  Check the help menu in any database to see which operators are available and exactly how they function.

Interlibrary Loan

Request journal articles not available at FSU or other local libraries through Interlibrary Loan.  Distance students should use Interlibrary Loan to request books in the FSU Libraries as well as those in other libraries.

Is it scholarly?

Scholarly sources can generally be identified by several features:

  1. Content: Is the topic of the article academic?
  2. Audience: Is the article written for a reader who is knowledgable about the topic?
  3. Language: Does the author use higher level language and discipline-specific terminology?
  4. Intent: Is the purpose of the article to report findings of a research project, present a case study, make an argument about a topic based on supporting evidence or research, etc?
  5. Authorship: Are the qualifications of the author listed?  For scholarly articles look for advanced degree(s) as well as experience writing and/or researching on the topic.
  6. Peer-review: Is the article peer-reviewed or refereed?  This means material is evaluated by experts and only published if it meets the discipline's standards.
  7. References: Does the author support his or her findings with references to other scholarly research in footnotes, endnotes or a bibliography at the end? 

Still not sure if your article is scholarly?  Check to see if the journal is listed as refereed in Ulrich's Serials Directory.

This list was inspired by the many such lists available on library websites, especially that of Judith Downie at California State University San Marcos

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