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A Guide to English: Start

A guide to English created by Visiting Librarian Abe Nemon in 2022/2023.

Welcome to the Gustavus Library Guide to English!

This guide to resources presents a sampling of the tools available for the interpretation or creation of literature.

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  • The first section (Academic Writing) discusses the differences between academic and non-academic writing, describes academic writing as a conversation and introduces the concept of rhetoric, discusses critical thinking and critical reading, describes the multiple stages of the writing process, and offers some dos and don'ts of formatting citations.
  • The second section (Academic Research) explains how the idea of research as a conversation can guide our research process, provides tips for using the reference collection to get a broad sense of your topic, searching for books, searching for scholarly articles, and performing a bibliographic trace to map the keystone and related texts in a scholarly conversation, as well as how to keep your sources organized using citation management applications, and what scholarly organizations engage in research in various special areas of English Studies.
  • The third section (The English Language) provides access to dictionaries and guides to grammar and style which can not only reduce errors but also enable you to improve as a writer, as well as explore special areas of research like linguistics and lexicography.
  • The fourth section (Anglophone Literature(s)) showcases the incredible diversity of formal genres, peoples and identities, subject matters, and historical periods which could be described under the rubric of Anglophone Literature -- the literature of English-speaking peoples around the world.
  • The fifth section (Criticism and Theory) provides resources introducing the world of literary criticism, as well as resources on related fields including rhetoric and cultural studies.
  • The sixth section (Creative Writing) lists a number of resources for learning to compose in a number of different genres, as well as information about how and where to get your work published.
  • The last section (Digital Humanities) highlights new methods of research in the field of English Studies using digital tools that enable new forms of knowledge to be developed and new interactive forms of text to be composed.

Please don't hesitate to ask for assistance if you aren't finding what you need.

Fall 2022 reference (research) help:


English embraces both reading and writing literature. Reading critically involves analyzing texts in the context of history, literary theory, genres, or social issues and can involve looking into historical, cultural, or thematic connections. English majors also write creatively and may need inspiration or factual information for their work or may want to know more about the publishing business.

If you need help with an assignment for this class (or any other class), feel free to contact a librarian!

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