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Last Updated: Mar 12, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Mrs. J. Bolanos-Cadenas

British Literature: Researching Literature, 2015

Project Description

Researching literature provides us with an opportunity to explore a work more deeply, to achieve a better understanding of a literary text.  For this assessment, we will focus on 17th & 18th century writers and the movements/ideologies that influenced their work:

John Donne, “Holy Sonnet 10” (Metaphysical Poetry)

John Milton, Sonnet VII (Puritanism)

Amelia Lanier, from Eve’s Apology (Women/Gender in the 17th Century)

Alexander Pope, from An Essay on Man (Neoclassicism)

Each of you will be assigned one poet and one of that poet’s works.  You will analyze the assigned poem, determine its meaning, and research the poet’s background to consider how his/her life and the movements/ideologies inspiring that poet provide a deeper understanding of the meaning and purpose of a poet’s work; that is the aim of this exercise.

You will follow selected steps of the research process outlined in the “Researching Literature: 101” packet (attached in Moodle).  The project will culminate in a group presentation where you will: 1) teach your classmates about the work and life of your assigned poet; 2) lead the class through an analysis of one of your poet’s works; 3) demonstrate how researching your poet’s background enriches your understanding of the selected work.

For rubric, see attached.  For due dates, see Moodle.

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    British Literature Web Resources

    Google Search Tips and Google Scholar

    Get More Out of Google (HackCollege)

    The entertaining and informative infographic supplies tips to "get more out of Google." Created by contributors of HackCollege (

    • Google Scholar
      Successful searching for scholarly articles on the web begins with Google Scholar.
    • Sweet Search
      Sweet Search web guides are developed by research experts and educators.

    John Milton


    Amelia Bassano Lanier

    Cover Art
    Shakespeare's Dark Lady - John Hudson
    Call Number: on order
    ISBN: 1445621606
    Publication Date: 2014

    Library Databases and How to Cite Them

    Databases can be accessed at school or at home. See librarian for username and password to access databases at home.  The little blue circle with the i on it provides information on citing the database using NoodleTools.

    • Gale Virtual Reference Library  
      This is a collection of ebooks. Select topic of Literature and select from book series including Twayne's Authors Online, Scribner Writers Online, American Women Writers, concise Major 21st Century Writers, Nonfiction Classics for Students, and Shakespeare for Students.
    • JSTOR  
      Advanced: Articles from scholarly journals which are at least 2 years old. Always begin by logging in to JSTOR so that you have a green search icon next to your resulting journal articles. To print, click on View pdf, and then go to file and print.
    • Literature Resource Center (Gale Databases TEL)  
      Begin search by limiting results to person or name of literary work. On search results page, use tabs at top to sort by Literature Criticism, Biographies, Topic Overviews, etc. The Multimedia Tab contains podcasts of interviews. Once you locate articles, refine your search by box on left with hyperlinks to topics to narrow results further.

    Search Tips and Videos - JSTOR

    These time-saving tips will make your database and online searching more efficient and precise. 

    1. Use quotation marks to create a bound phrase (such as "Charles Dickens").
    2. Use AND to narrow your search results.  Use OR to link synonyms or similar terms to expand search results.  Use NOT to eliminate results that do not match your search need.
    3. Use INDEX in databases (if provided) to find related subjects or more precise wording to describe your subject.
    4. When you find a helpful article, look at the keywords describing the article and expand your search using those terms. Also, skim Bibliography to locate helpful articles and mine those resources for further exploration of related research.



    John Donne and Amelia Lanier


    Alexander Pope


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