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Hamersly Library

ENG 218W - Intro to Literary Study: Reference Sources

How to Use Reference Sources

When conducting literature research, references sources should play a similar role to the one they play in your everyday life. For instance, if you want to get a definition and/or an overview of something, you might go to Wikipedia or another similar online reference source. Having done that though, you wouldn't have done in-depth research. What you have done is given yourself a background and a context from which you could research further if you wish.

Similarly, use the reference sources below to give you an overview of the critical reception of authors, as well as their works. These sources will help give you background, context, and ideas that you can then use as a jumping-off point for your research. Some of them will even provide you with lists of relevant sources to explore.

**Note: Even though these are reference sources and are not a substitute for in-depth research, if you quote/summarize/paraphrase what you learn from these sources in your paper you must still cite them!

Using Primo to Find Print Reference Sources

In order to find print reference sources (i.e. physical books on the 1st floor of Hamersly), you will need to search for them using Primo. To do this:

1. Go to the library homepage

2. Type your topic and/or the work title/author into the Primo search box in the middle of the page:


3. Specify that you want to search in WOU-only by selecting the WOU radio button under the search box, then hit enter or click the black magnifying glass search button.

4. Now you have your initial set of results and will need to narrow them down using the limiters on the left of the page (for more on using these limiters, also called facets, watch this tutorial). Under "Refine My Results" scroll down to the "Physical Location" list and click "Reference." (Note: you might have to click the "More options" link to see the "Reference" option).

Below are some examples that are relevant to this class, but there are many more that you can find by searching using the above process!

Online Reference Sources

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