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English Courses & Research

Researching the context of something in a work of literature

Looking for historical context for a novel--or something you want to put in your fiction?

Background information is where to start

EN 201 and EN 202 students should start with an encyclopedia overview of their aspect or detail from a work in order to understand where to go next.

Fiction writers should start with encyclopedia overviews in order to not be distracted by too much or too specific information.

Books can answer your question - using a chapter or section is best.

For your short EN 201 or 202 presentation or researching for your own fiction, if you can't find your answer in an encyclopedia, check a book chapter or section--but be wary of getting sucked into too much information for what you need.


Still need more? Newspapers, magazines, peer-reviewed journal articles, various websites--the rest is up to you!

Be sure you know what you are looking at and why you should care what the source says. A blog that cites a scholarly work and answers your question about Regency style bonnets is fine for your fiction but is NOT fine for your EN 201 or 202 project.

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