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AML2010 Glover Mueller: Articles

Students in Dr. Glover's American Literature class can use this guide to help find sources for their annotated bibliographies.

Suggested Databases for Literary Criticism

Try these online databases to find literary criticisms, peer-reviewed articles, and other scholarly information about your topic.

Remember to choose FULL TEXT, if available.

Search Tips

Truncation  Add an asterisk (*) to a root word to expand your search. For example, searching with the term femin* will result in articles containing the keywords feminist, feminism, feminine.

Limiting   Limit your results by searching for full text, peer-reviewed, date, and other limiters.

Scholarly versus Popular

Scholarly articles are:

in-depth |  written by experts   validated with technical language, abstracts, literature reviews, methodologies, tables, graphs, and conclusions |  reviewed by experts | given a bibliography

Popular articles are:

brief overviews of topics |  written by journalists |  easily read by most people |  illustrated with colorful photographs or pictures reviewed by editors | not given a bibliography

What is Scholarly?

When your instructor asks you to find "scholarly" articles, what does that mean? Scholarly articles:

  • contain a bibliography or list of references
  • are written by scholars or researchers in a particular field
  • are often longer than 5 pages
  • use complex language, specific to a field
  • may contain charts or graphs with data


What is NOT Scholarly?

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

How can you tell if a source is a scholarly article? Think back to RADAR.

Visit this page to see a diagram of a typical scholarly article. The authors' names, the publication date, the journal title, and the references should be clearly listed. You can check to see more information on any journal to see if the articles published in it have gone through the peer review process.

Rationale The article was created for the purpose of informing others.
Authority The author is an authority on the subject of the article, typically an English/Literature professor at a university.
Date The date will be clearly listed on the detailed record and on the full text of the article itself.
Accuracy Scholarly articles have been peer-reviewed for accuracy.

Scholarly articles are intended for use by students and faculty. Choose articles which relate to your topic.

Database Login for Students

To log in to the databases, you will use the same Rivermail e-mail address and password you set up to log into MyPioneerPortal. First-time users of MyPioneerPortal can create their password by following the instructions you receive in your activation email. To reset your password, select "Need help signing in." The librarians cannot reset MyPioneerPortal passwords, if you need additional assistance visit the tutorial on MyPioneerPortal. 

MyPioneerPortal Login

Literary Criticism vs. Book Reviews

You are probably familiar with book reviews. Book reviews are usually a small paragraph in a newspaper or magazine that comments on a book. Book reviews are written for everyone, click here to see one from The New York Times.

Literary criticism is a longer, in-depth analysis about an author, a literary work, or even a single character, theme, or occurence in a literary work. When searching for research to write a paper in a college level literature class, you NEED to use literary criticism, click here to see an example from the Journal of International Social Research.

The databases will offer both. Make sure you can tell the difference.

Ben Franklin's idea of democracy today (Academic Search Complete database articles)

Articles like these might be used for an essay on Ben Franklin's 'democracy' (from Academic Search Complete database).

Title: "Democracy is Dead"
Author: Paul Kingsnorth
Source: New Internationalist , 373 pp. 34-35
Title: "Rediscovering the Roots of American Democracy"
Author: Maria Morocco
Source: Human Rights Vol. 17 Issue 3 (1990) pp.38-39



Citizenship in American society (JSTOR database articles)

Here are some articles from the JSTOR database that might be relevant to the topic.

Title: "Democratic Renewal and Cultural Inertia: Why Our Best Efforts Fall Short"
Author: Robert Wuthnow
Source: Sociological Forum, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Sep., 2005), pp. 343-367
Title: "Reading's Impact on Democratic Citizenship in America"
Authors: Stephen Earl Bennett, Staci L. Rhine and Richard S. Flickinger
Source: Political Behavior, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 167-195
Title: "What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for Democracy"
Authors: Joel Westheimer and Joseph Kahne
Source: American Eduational Research Journal, Vol. 41, No. 2 (Summer, 2004), pp. 237-269