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Introduction to English Language Literature: Home


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Welcome to the Introduction to English Language Literature LibGuide

Whether you are in a lower division English course or a graduate student, this guide provides you with quick access to a variety of relevant resources, including the Library's catalog, electronic databases such as JSTOR and MLA International Bibliography, Reference Resources, and other scholarly works. 

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Featured Resource: ProQuest One Literature

About ProQuest One Literature:

Developed in collaboration with faculty, scholars and librarians, this user-friendly, discipline-specific database provides an immersive destination to discover and analyze stories, essays, plays and criticism. ProQuest One Literature is ideal for literature students and scholars, and relevant across a spectrum of subject areas and disciplines.

Proquest One Literature Includes:

  • Primary Texts – including poetry, prose and drama from all over the world, by the most influential and studied authors as well as the works of lesser known or now forgotten literary figures.
  • Criticism – covering both contemporary and historical criticism.
  • Reference Works – offering companions and reference resources providing context to authors and works.
  • Full Text Journals - covering all aspects of literary studies.
  • Audio and Video – containing performances, author interviews.
  • Ebooks - providing in-depth critical analysis of primary works, and author biographies.
  • Dissertations - offering scholarly output on literary topics with rich reference citations.

Basic Search:

Basic Search is a simple way to find what you are looking for in ProQuest One Literature. Basic Search searches across all content within the database. You can also click the buttons for Criticism, Primary Texts, Author Pages, Reference Works, Audio & Video, or Dissertations or Book reviews to focus your search to a specific content type. 

If you’re searching for scholarly articles, reviews, books, and dissertations, select criticism. If you’re searching for original literary works, select primary texts. You can also search for specific author pages and reference works rather than browsing the carousels below.

Basic Search Example:

If you are interested in the Beat Generation, a basic search might look like this. One Literature’s auto-complete feature can help you select appropriate terms. If you are interested in learning about the topic more broadly, you might select the topic page on the right, which provides an overview, relevant authors, recommended reference works and more.

You can also use One Literature’s autocomplete feature to search for the Beat Generation as a subject.

Refine Search:

Our subject search for the Beat Generation returned more than one thousand results. The results are helpfully broken down into criticism, primary texts, and secondary sources. Criticism is primarily literature focused, while secondary sources are often interdisciplinary.

To reduce the number of materials we need to sift through, we can modify our search. You can use the side bar on the left-hand side of the page to limit by content type, publication date, title, language, and more. You can also click “Modify Search” at the top of the page if you’d like to further refine your search terms.

After some searching, I decide to narrow my search results to include only works where the subject is the Beat Generation AND Jack Kerouac.

Analyze Results and Access Content:

Our modified search for the Beat Generation and Jack Kerouac yielded 172 results. Now that we have a list of results, it's time to analyze them and determine which results best match our research needs.

After finding an article that appears to correspond with your research question, click on the link to the open the record for the particular article. In this instance, I selected the article, “Fleeing the City.” On the righthand side, you can see that the full text of this article is available.

Now that we discovered an article that could be interesting, we need to get a little more information. 

  • Who is the author and what are their credentials?
  • What is the name of the journal and how can you tell that it is scholarly?
  • Are there any additional search terms or keywords in the record that you could use to refine your research?



After answering these questions and reading the abstract, you may decide that you’d like to read the full-text of this article. Through Proquest One Literature, you can often read the full text on the web page. If you prefer a different format, you can download the PDF at the top of the page. You can also cite, print, and email the content.

Reference Resources

Key Databases for Scholarly Content

Connect From Off Campus

Installing a VPN client will allow you to securely connect to databases from any off-campus location by routing your activity through the campus network. Once connected, this will let you operate in the same way you would if you were on campus. This method is especially useful if you’re using a lot of different resources, browser bookmarks, or links you find outside of the library domain (e.g., Google or Google Scholar). For more information, please visit or click the picture below to download and install the VPN to your computer.


Cite Your Sources!

Learn to Cite Sources and Manage Your Research

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Literatures and Languages Library
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1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-2220


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