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This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries LibGuides

ENGL 2020: Solomon

This guide connects you to resources that will be helpful in finding research for your context essay in Dr. Solomon's ENGL 2020 class.

Conducting Research for Your Literature Papers

When conducting research for literature papers, your goal is to see what people have already said about the specific work or author you’re focusing on. The purpose is not so much for you to find an expert who agrees with your interpretation or thesis, but rather to develop your awareness of the scholarly conversation(s) that you’re going to be entering into with your own analysis.  It’s a bit like showing up a party and listening to folks around you to see what they’re talking about before you jump into the conversation. Your research should help provide context for your reading or analysis of a work and should help your reader clearly follow you from point A to point B to point C as you support your thesis.

You may need to find research that does some or all of the following:

  • Addresses a specific theme or question a specific work 
  • Addresses a specific theme or question, but in other works by your author
  • Addresses a specific theme in the genre in which your author writes
  • Discusses the specific work you're looking at, but isn't focused on your exact topic or question
  • Discusses the specific author you're writing about, but isn't focused on the exact theme you're interested in
  • Provides background context (on the author's life or the time period in which a literary work is set, for instance)

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