Hi, welcome to our video on finding literary
criticism using the ProQuest Literature Online database. We will begin at the UA-Pulaski Technical
College Ottenheimer Libraries homepage: located at www.uaptc.edu/library. The UA-PTC Libraries website has a box to
search all available databases at one time, however if you use this box literary criticism
articles may not be easy to find in your results. When searching for literary criticism, it is usually best to search directly in a database that specializes in literature. To do this click on the Databases by Subject link for a list of our databases organized by subject area. On this screen, you will see a list of subject areas to choose from. Since we are searching for literary criticism, we are going to choose Literature and Composition. Now, click on Literature Online. You will need to log in using your UA-PTC Portal User Name and Password if you are off campus. You will now see the database’s Basic Search screen. To search for both the title and author of a short story, poem, play, or novel, its best to use the Advanced Search screen. Click the Advanced Search link to access the Advanced Search options. Let’s do a search for the play A Raisin in
the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Type the title in the first box. Putting the title in quotation marks indicates to the database that you want to search for all of the words together as a complete phrase. Type the author’s last name, Hansberry, in the box below it. The preselected word AND will tell the database that you it to find both the title and the author’s name in the same article. Before you click on the search button, take
a look at the options to limit your results. The Full Text box is already checked for you so the database knows to display only full articles articles in your results and not to include article citations that do not have the full text available. Checking the Peer Reviewed box will limit
your results to scholarly articles. This option will remove articles from popular sources like magazines and newspapers. If your instructor has told you to use only scholarly or peer reviewed articles you can check this box, however if your instructor does not require you to limit your sources to scholarly articles you can leave this box unchecked. Let’s click the Search button. Here on our Results screen notice that even though we used quotation marks on our search term we have still ended up with hundreds
of results. If you look under Content type you will also see that we have a few different types of articles. If you are in Composition II or a Literature course your instructor may have limited you to using only literary criticism sources.
These are found under the Criticism content type. If your instructor allows you to incorporate information about the author into your research paper the Author Pages article may be useful to you. Reference Works includes information from encyclopedias, dictionaries, and study guides. While valuable for background information, these sources are not considered literary criticism. If you are limited to using critical sources information from the Reference Works section would not be appropriate. The number parenthesis beside each Content type is the number of articles that you will be left with if we select just that particular content type. Notice that even if we select Criticism we will be left with more than one hundred articles. To reduce this number focus our search we can add an additional search term by clicking on Modify search. Modify search brings us back to our Advanced search screen. We want to keep A Raisin in the Sun, and keep the quotation marks on the title. We also want to keep the author’s name, Hansberry. What we want to do is add a search term. To do this click Add a row to add an additional search box. In this additional search box we can add a third search term. If you want to focus on a particular character of the play, you could type in the character’s name. Often with short stories, poems or plays you will want to focus on a particular theme of the work. In our search for articles on A Raisin
in the Sun we will focus on the theme of segregation. Once again the preselected AND will tell the database that we want to find articles that discuss all three search terms: A Raisin in
the Sun, Hansberry, and segregation. So let’s click on the Search button to see our results. On our results screen notice that our total number of results has reduced, as has the amount of Criticism articles. These articles focus on the theme of segregation in the A Raisin in the Sun. If we used a different theme as our third search term we would get a different list of articles in our results. The database displays the top three criticism results on this screen. To see all of the literary criticism articles click on this button. Let’s take a look at the first article.
The article title is in blue followed by the authors and publication information. This
article has two different full text views: Full text and Full text-PDF. There is no difference in the information presented in these views, but they do look very different on the screen. Let’s click the plain Full text view to see it first. The article publication information is at
the top, followed by an abstract, which is a summary of the article. The full text of
the article begins after the abstract. Notice that this format of the article is just plain text without any of the special formatting or page numbers of the original document.
However this article view does highlight the search terms in yellow so it is very easy to see how much the article mentions our search terms. Click on the Full text-PDF tab to see
this full text view. PDF’s are scanned images of the original documents, so they will include things like page numbers that are missing from the HTML full text format. You can get a copy of this article by clicking on the Download PDF, Print, Save, or Email links. Email will send a full-text copy of the article to your email inbox. PDF copies will appear as attachments to your email. The Cite link can produce a citation in a variety of formats. Make sure you choose the format that is being used in your course. Also you should always compare the citation to your instructor’s citation guidelines to make sure it is correct before using it in your references page. Once you are finished looking at this article, you can go back to your original results list by clicking on the Back to results link This concludes our tutorial on the ProQuest
Literature Online database. Please contact UA-PTC Libraries if you have any questions.