One of the most important resources for students of literature on the Web is LION. As well as offering free access to a huge collection of literary texts, it contains a searchable database of full text literary critical articles. This is an invaluable resource, and should be any student's first lookup when preparing for an essay or a seminar. You can find good articles from high quality journals about pretty well any subject you want, available 24/7. Wonderful.
If you are inside the university using a university computer, just go here:
Otherwise, you will need an ATHENS password, which you can obtain from the Main Library Information desk. Armed with that, go here:
and fill in your id and password.
Either route will now have delivered you to the same place: the LION main menu (illustrated here).
To search the database of poems, click on any of the first 4 menu items. To search the database of articles, click on the 5th, 'search criticism and reference'. this will get you to a search page (illustrated here).
Searching the database of articles
This is not obvious, so here are some clues.
1. how to do searches
If you know the author of the article you want, then enter the name in the lowest box, 'Author/Reviewer'. Click on 'submit search' to start the search. If you want to check whether that author is in the database, or you have the spelling correct, instead first click on the 'Browse' button. This will give you a list of authors in the database: double click on the one you want, and back you will go to the search form, where you will find the form filled in with the author's name. now click on 'submit search' and you will find a list of articles.
If you enter a search term in the 'subject keyword' box, and click 'browse' you go through much the same process, choosing instead of author a keyword from the keyword list. 'submit search' will get you a list of articles for which the keyword is considered a main topic; usually, rather a small list.
If you enter a search term in the top slot, 'keyword', this will get you a longer list, of all articles where the word you have entered occurs in the body of the text.
2. the results of searches
The list of articles that the search will return will look something like this (illustration here). The icons on the left tell you what's available.
The little camera means that there is a photograph of the article, page by page; the image of text on the left of the camera means that there is a full text version of the article: click on the icon for either, and you will be able to read the article.
If at the foot of the page the words 'reference works' are underlined (illustration here) then you can click to go to a list of entries in reference works, which are extremely useful.
When you get to a full text article or reference work entry notice that at the top if you have done a keyword search you will find a little arrow and the words 'first hit' underlined.
Click on 'first hit' and you will be taken to the first, and then subsequent, instances of the word you used as a search term in the article: very useful.
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