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ENGL 250: Methods of Literary Study (BMC)

Spring 2024; Gordon, Harford Vargas

Help with Theory


Using Tripod

Tripod: The library's catalog

    Keyword Search:

         E.g.,    Awakening Chopin criticism

   Or Subject Search:

         E.g.,  Chopin, Kate > 1850-1904 > Awakening

                   Chopin, Kate > 1850-1904 > Criticism and interpretation


MLAIB & Peer Review

Search the MLAIB database to find secondary sources

What's in the MLAIB? What is Peer Review?

Authority and Conversation

Scholarly Conversation - West Virginia University

Scholarly Authority - Secondary Sources

Scholarly Authority

A. Author

  1. What are the author's credentials--institutional affiliation (where he or she works), educational background, past writings, or experience? Is the book or article written on a topic in the author's area of expertise? 
  2. Has your instructor mentioned this author? Have you seen the author's name cited in other sources or bibliographies? Respected authors are cited frequently by other scholars. 
  3. Is the author associated with a reputable institution or organization? 

B. Date of Publication

When was the source published? How have the ideas about your topic changed over time?

C. Book Publisher

If the source is published by a university press, it is likely to be scholarly. Although the fact that the publisher is reputable does not necessarily guarantee quality, it does show that the publisher may have high regard for the source being published.

D. Title of Journal

Is this a scholarly or a popular journal? This distinction is important because it indicates different levels of complexity in conveying ideas.  If it is scholarly, is the journal peer-reviewed? 


Adapted from Cornell University's Critically Analyzing Information Sources: Critical Appraisal
and Analysis

Citing & Annotated Bibliographies

MLA Citation Style

Annotated Bibliography

Zotero Citation Manager

Zotero: The Tri-College Libraries recommend Zotero, a free online app that can format your bibliography, keep your citations organized, and even save your articles in the cloud so you can access them later.

Need help getting started? TriCo Guide to Zotero

Zotero workshops are listed in the LITS Events Calendar