Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Aug 23, 2018     Views: 308

There are a couple of things you can try. First, consult this OWL at Purdue Website to learn more about the literary theories you have chosen.  Not only will you have a better understanding of your theory, but you will also have additional keywords that you can try if the literary theory name does not yield any results. 

Begin your search by typing in the title of the literary work and the author (for example, “Brave New World” AND “Huxley, Aldous”) into the Multi-Search box on the library home page. Please note that the quotation marks hold individual words together as a phrase to be searched and the word AND brings back results that mention both search terms. For more information on Boolean searching and other effective searching techniques, please take a look at our Getting Started research guide.

If there are too many results for you to look through, try adding additional search terms, such as the literary theory chosen. Be sure to search the theories separately.  So, for example, try “Brave New World” AND “Huxley, Aldous” AND (psychoanalytic OR Freud).  Please note that the parentheses tell the database to bring back results with either psychoanalytic OR Freud in conjunction with the other two search terms mentioned. For more information on parentheses and how they work in advanced Boolean searching, take a look at this tutorial.  

Since you are looking specifically for scholarly articles, you may want to look to the left side of the search results and click the checkbox that says Peer Reviewed (Scholarly) and it will update your results. 

Additionally, you might search in our literature databases. Here are the steps to get there:

  1. Click on the A-Z Database List in the "Quick Links" box on the library home page.
  2. Click on "All Subjects" in the box to the upper left just above the alphabet list.
  3. Scroll down and click on "Literature" and a list of 21 databases will come up.  Select “Literature Online” from the list. 
  4. Type into the search box: “Brave New World” AND “Huxley, Aldous” AND  (psychoanalytic OR Freud). 
  5. Click on Full Text – PDF to view the full article.  Once you are in the article, hold down the Ctrl button and then click on letter F (Ctrl + F) on your keyboard to look for keywords (Freud, psychoanalytic, etc.) within the article.  This is a quick way to determine if the article will be useful for your research.

Select any of the other databases from the literature list and try the same search techniques.  The databases listed in the Best Bets section usually provide good results for this kind of research. 

Here are some video tutorials you may want to explore to help you find literary criticism information on three of our major databases:

If you still are not able to find any articles after trying these steps, please contact the Reference Desk via the Chat 24/7 with a Librarian, email at, or 844.684.0456 (toll free), and we can help you brainstorm keywords or offer additional suggestions.

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