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Hard Times - Charles Dickens

Create a Search Strategy

Make sure that you understand the general topic. Refer back to the listed resources on the Home tab and create a list of concepts, ideas, and terms.

Since you are answering a question or proving a point, your list of terms will fall under several categories of related ideas. This will help you create a search strategy.

Use one of the databases listed below to help you find good information on your topic. Wondering why your professor and librarians keep pushing databases? Not sure what a database is? Watch a short video to answer those questions.

TIP:  Save, email, and copy the bibliographic information from the articles that you find relevant to your research question. This will make it easier when you go back to collect your thoughts, write your paper, and construct your Works Cited page.




You will find literary criticism in books and in databases. 

Tips for searching in the databases:

  • Use Advanced Search when available
  • Put quotation marks around words you want to stay together.  "Hard Times" and "Charles Dickens."
  • Limit to "Academic journals" or "peer reviewed" when available
  • See "Create a Search Strategy," above, for more tips

Electronic books are available 24/7.  You can read one online or download it to your device.  Like hard copy books, the number of copies might be limited.  If you are unable to actually read the book, it may be checked out.  Try again later.

For hard copy books, use the library catalog.  Don't worry that the book you want is at a distant library.  You can "place a hold" to have it sent to a convenient library.  Plan ahead! This will take time.

Search the LSCS Library Catalog:

Keywords Anywhere   Subject   Title   Author

Database Help

What are keywords?

Keywords are the most important words about or describe your topic. 


To illustrate this, let's think of the subject "Technology is destroying society."


In order to determine keywords, ask yourself questions, like:

  • What kinds of technology are destructive?
  • How are they destructive? (Be specific.)
  • What parts of society do they impact?
Use the Advanced Search in Project Muse to focus your search results:

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