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ENG 228: American Pastoralism: Finding Secondary Sources

Exploring the Pastoral in Literature

The Wilds of Lake Superior - Thomas Moran, 1864

Detail of The Wilds of Lake Superior by Thomas Moran, 1864 via Wikimedia Commons.

For Background and Context

Wikipedia is great, but sometimes you want something a little more focused and academic. These books in the Reference Collection (main floor, Beck side) might help you define concepts and get a smart summaries about people or issues.

Finding Secondary Sources

Before you settle on a thesis for your second paper, you probably will need to explore the possibilities a particular author and work provide for thinking about connections between humans and the natural world. The good news - it's wide open! The bad news - you'll have to narrow your focus. You'll get your main idea from the text itself, but for this paper you'll take your interpretation and add in what you can learn from at least two other sources about either the author or work you're focused on or sources about the themes or issues your interpretation draws out. Browse around and see what's out there as your thesis begins to firm up.

Interlibrary Loan

It's like Amazon, but without the bills! If we don't have a book or article you want, we will get it for you. In the catalog, you can widen a search to "libraries worldwide," click on the title of the book you want, then use the "request" button. In a few days you'll get an email when the book arrives and can pick it up at the information desk.

If we don't have an article, use the "find it" option in article databases to request it. You'll get a PDF of it in a day or two.

Use the "my library account" link on the left-hand side of the library's main page to get blank forms or check on the status of your ILLs.


Julie Gilbert's picture
Julie Gilbert
I love meeting with students and faculty to talk about your research, including any issues you have - or even if you just want to brainstorm. There are lots of ways to reach me. Email me with questions or use the old fashioned phone number below to contact me. Or stop by during my reference/office hours: Wednesdays from 2:30 - 4:30 and Thursdays from 1:00 - 2:30. I'll either be in my office (Library 108B on the lower level) or the reference desk on the main floor.
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