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Bloom's Literary Reference Online
Contains extensive entries on literary topics, themes, movements, and genres, and almost 170 video segments to help students investigate literary criticism.
General Search Tips
- Basic search box :
Searches from the basic search box on the home page or from the box on the top menu return entries that include all of your search terms anywhere on the page. There is no need to include and between terms. Your search terms will be highlighted in yellow in the text. To quickly find a specific author or work, enclose the name or title in quotation marks.
Searches are not case sensitive. For example, it does not matter if you enter The Grapes of Wrath or the grapes of wrath; both will return the same results.
- Accent Marks :
Many names and terms, especially those from non-English languages, contain special symbols to clarify their pronunciation. To search for these words, simply type the word without the accent marks. For example, to search for Gabriel García Márquez, simply type Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the search box.
- Phrase searches :
To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks. Without quotation marks, the search will return all entries that have all the words in your search, regardless of their location on the page or relation to one another. With quotation marks, the search will return only entries that contain your search phrase exactly as you entered it.
- Limiting results with not searches:
Some words or phrases can apply to a variety of topics or people. Use the not search in order to reduce the number of unwanted topics in the search results. For instance, if you want to search for entries on the Renaissance but want to exclude entries on the Harlem Renaissance, enter Renaissance not Harlem or Renaissance –Harlem into the search box. Include more terms to limit the results further. As you can see from the two examples, you may use either the word not or the minus sign to exclude a word from the search; however, the minus sign must be attached to the front of the word to be excluded, while not must be surrounded by spaces. Both approaches have the effect of excluding all entries that contain the word.
- Or searches:
Sometimes you may want to search on two different topics that do not appear together, such as two different people or two different concepts. In that case, enter both search terms, or sets of terms, separated by the word or. For instance, the search Don DeLillo or Toni Morrison will return any entry that deals with either novelist, including entries that mention one but not the other.
Advanced Search Tips
- With all of the words:
This search returns only pages that include all of your search terms; however, the words may be anywhere on the page and can appear in any order. To restrict a search further, just include more terms in this box, or use this box in combination with the other search option boxes. (This search is essentially the same as the basic search box on the top bar. However, when used in combination with the other options below, its power and accuracy can be magnified.)
- With the exact phrase:
Use this box to search for an exact phrase if the basic, or "with all of the words," search returns too many results. This search will return only entries that contain your search phrase exactly as you entered it. This search is particularly useful for terms in which one of the words is a single letter or is very common. For example, typing Elizabethan drama into this box will return only those entries containing the phrase Elizabethan drama, whereas a basic search would return many general entries about drama. The phrase search in the advanced search has the same effect as putting quotation marks around a phrase in the basic search box on the home page and on the top menu.
- With at least one of the words:
Sometimes you may want to do a search on two different topics that do not appear together, such as two different people or two different organizations. For example, you may be researching Byron and Keats, and so want to find any articles that mention either poet. In that case, enter both search terms or sets of terms in this box. You may also use this search box to locate an entry if you are unsure of the exact words to use. For example, if you are unsure whether the correct name is Federal Writers' Project or Federal Writers' Program, you could type Project Program into the "with at least one of the words" search box, and Federal Writers into the "with all of the words" box.
- Without the words:
Sometimes you may want to limit results by excluding certain words. For instance, to retrieve entries on Francis Bacon but not on Roger Bacon, you might type Roger into this search box and Bacon into the "with all of the words" box.
- Limit results by entry type:
Sometimes you may want to find results for only certain types of entries. Check the boxes next to the types of entries you would like to search. For example, if you want to find only videos, check the "Videos" box and leave the other boxes unchecked.
- Full text vs. title search:
Use the radio buttons below the search boxes to specify what part of the database to search. Full-Text searches apply to the text of an entry as well as to the title and header material. The Title search applies only to the title. The Title search will almost always return a smaller result than the Full-Text search, so it is probably more helpful for frequently mentioned figures or terms. The Full-Text search will help locate all the information on less well-known figures or terms.