Answered By: Nedda Ahmed
Last Updated: Aug 17, 2021     Views: 106

Sometimes a literary piece can be hard to understand, and it's okay to seek out resources to help you. We call this type of research “background research”. Background research is research you do on a topic to grasp a better understanding of it before you dive into the more complicated research you intend to do for a paper, usually involving literary criticism.

A great place to start is Gale eBooks when looking to do background research. Gale eBooks will cover everything from the sciences, to history, to literature.

Start by simply putting in the title or author of the work you want to search in the search bar at the top of the page. Gale eBooks will attempt to auto populate titles. If you see what piece you’re looking for, go ahead and select the auto populated option. The result should bring up an overview of information on a literary piece or author including things like, author biography, plot summary, characters, themes, and more.

Below is an example of one of these entries on a short story by William Faulkner.

a screen shot of an entry from Gale ebooks showing information on a rose for emily by william faulkner

For more help, ask a librarian.


Reviewed 8/17/2021 bgw


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