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WR 301-(for Nance): Critical Writing in English - Fall 2017: MLA Bibliography

MLA Bibliography

The  MLA International Bibliography gets its own page in this guide as it is the major disciplinary database for doing research in the literatures of all languages. The MLAIB provides citations to journal articles, books, book chapters, and dissertations.  MLA provides descriptions of publications which you will then locate in PSU Library.  

 There are two especially useful ways to limit a search in MLA - primary author or primary work and source type.

MLA searches by using the Primary Subject Work or Primary Subject Author fields. 

A  MLA search for criticism about Aime Cesaire brings back almost 900 publications.

simple cesaire search

Use the 'Select a Field' drop down menu  to narrow the focus your results to those that are primarily about Cesaire. There are many fields in the MLA records, so you will need to scroll down to choose Primary Subject Work or Primary Subject Author.

 primary subject author field

The set of retrieved records is now smaller and more focused on Cesaire.

Let's take this one step further and limit the records we find about Cesaire focus especially on The Tempest. 

mla cesaire primary author tempest keyword

We've now reduced our set of records to 51.

You can also make use of the Source Type limiter in the left hand column to retrieve particular kinds of citations, a citation to a journal article, or a citation to a book chapter, or a citation to a book.

mla source types filters



Videos of MLA Searches

Watch a video of a simple search in MLA Bibliography.

Watch a video showing you how to use MLA's Primary Subject Work filter.

Watch a video that combines searching for articles and chapters on a particular work with a keyword.

Focusing your MLA search by work and by topic

You can further focus your search results by incorporating a few keywords into your search statement. In the example below, I'm looking for any articles or chapters that address some aspect of postcolonialism in 'The Tempest'. I'm requiring that the Primary Subject be the work The Tempest.

search on the work tempest with keyword postcolonial

This search brought back 68 records. 

I could choose a different strategy and use Primary Subject Author William Shakespeare and the keyword Postcolonial to find articles, chapters, etc. about postcolonial critiques of Shakespeare's works.