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ENGL121-W18: Critical Thinking/Lit. Writing, Dr. Young - ok An, Fall 2020: Online Resources

A Library Research Guide for ENGL121.W18: Critical Thinking/Lit. Writing, Dr. Young - ok An, Fall 2020

Online Resources


  Use the databases below to search for criticism, biographies, critical essays, and more. 

Background Information

Search Credo for broad topics such as: Year Without a Summer, Frankenstein,
Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, et. for background information from a variety of reference sources.

Literature Databases

Resources with Literature-specific content 

Article Databases: Broad-Spectrum (including lit content)

Primary vs Secondary Sources

Primary Sources:

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence created by participants and/or observers of a historical event or time period enabling researchers to get as close to the truth of what actually happened. Often, these materials are created at the time when the events or conditions occurred. However, primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs and oral histories that are written or recorded later. 

Primary sources are characterized by their content not their format.  Therefore, primary sources can be found in published books, on microfilm/microfiche, in digital form or in their original format.

The following types of materials are generally considered primary resources:

  • Diaries or journals
  • Letters or other manuscripts
  • Speeches and interviews
  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings
  • Video or motion picture recordings
  • Memoirs and autobiographies. 
  • Published materials from the time (books, magazine and/or newspaper articles)
  • Government documents
  • Objects and artifacts

Secondary Sources:

Secondary sources are created by someone not experiencing first-hand or participating in the events or conditions you’re researching. For a historical research project, secondary sources are generally scholarly books and articles.

A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources may contain pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources.

Some types of secondary source include: textbooks; journal articles; histories; criticisms; commentaries; encyclopedias.