Skip to main content

ENGL 3940: Research Methods in Literature: Home

Covers research methods for finding primary and secondary materials in the humanities using online and print discovery systems. Topics include evaluating information resources; catalogs and databases; rare books and manuscripts; & citation management.


Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing. - Werner von Braun

A man [sic] will turn over half a library to make one book. - Samuel Johnson

If you steal from one author, it's plagiarism; if you steal from many, it's research. - Wilson Mizner

The process of transcription is characterized by variation. - W.W. Gregg

Iteration alters, something new takes place. - Jacques Derrida

Texts have lives. -W.P. Williams & Craig S. Abbott

English 3940 - Research Methods in Literature

Chicago Public Library, 1917
(from the Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-0003451.
Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society.)

This course will introduce students doing honors theses in he humanities to search strategies and methods for finding various materials (primary and secondary sources, images, etc.) in various formats (print, digital, film, etc.) using the research resources at the Cornell Libraries and beyond. The course will focus on the location, evaluation, management and use of information and will combine short lectures and hands-on learning with labs where students will apply the general principles and strategies presented in class to their specific research projects, individually or in groups. Short assignments for each class will emphasize resource analysis, evaluation, and comparison; and the creation of bibliographies.

Number of sessions: 8

Time: Tuesdays, 10:10 am - 11:40 a.m., beginning September 1, 2009

Place: Uris Library Electronic Classroom

Class Content:

I. Introduction to Research Methods & Concepts (9/1)

II. Databases & Database Searching (9/8)

III. Primary Sources (Digital) (9/15)

IV. Primary Sources (Material) (9/22)

V. Secondary Sources for Literature & History (9/29)

VI. Finding Visual Resources; Reference materials (10/6)

VII. Citation Management (Refworks); resources for Book Reviews, Comparative Literature & Theater (10/20)

VIII. Secondary sources for Philosophy, Religion, Classics; Digital Scholarship (10/27)

The library of the future (according to Star Trek).Are we there yet?

Subject Librarian

Fred Muratori's picture
Fred Muratori
Help from a librarian (you might not get me) is only a click away:

Contact Info:
106 Olin Library
Cornell University
(607) 255-6662
Send Email