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Link to Washington and Jefferson College

English Literature

This guide will introduce you to resources that you can use when studying English literature.

Why Use Background Information?

Stack of BooksFinding background information is an important part of the research process. It helps you:

  • learn about topics with which you are unfamiliar
  • identify important facts related to your topic - keywords, dates, events, history, and names and organizations
  • refine your topic
  • find additional sources of information through bibliographies and works cited

Reference Databases

Reviewing the literature or gaining background information on a topic is a critical first step in the research process. You might do this by conducting a Google search or going to Wikipedia and reading up on a subject. We suggest using the reference databases the library subscribes to or books found in the reference section as a scholarly alternative.  

Newspaper Databases

How and Why We Read Video

The following video is by John Green and provides commentary on the importance of reading and writing as a form of communication.