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English: finding library resources for assignments

A reference resource, such as an encyclopedia, dictionary, guide, or volume of literary criticism, provides general background information on a topic. High quality reference works produced by scholars are an excellent place to start your research, and can give you give a useful overview of a subject.  

How to find reference resources

The following resources are available online:

If you are looking for a particular novel, poem, play, short story or other type of literary work, start with Library Seach.

Many titles will be available in digital format as e-books.

How to find books


Run a search using the Library Search tool:

This type of information is written by researchers and experts in their field. It could include:

  • journal articles
  • critical editions of literary works
  • a book of critical essays
  • research monograph (a book on a single specialised topic)

You can find books by searching Library Search.


Journal articles

Scholarly or academic journals go through a "peer review" process, where a panel of experts assesses the article before it is approved for publication.

The majority of the journals available via the library are in digital format.  This means they are available to you any time, any place and ensures you can access the latest journal issues as soon as they are published.

How to find journal articles

  • Use the Library Search to find out which articles have appeared in your research area.
  • Use research databases such as MLA International Bibliography, JSTOR, and others listed in the Key resources section.

We have a small collection of audiobooks. You can access these from your reading list where available:

You can see the full collection here:

Borrow and read using the Libby app. For more information, see this guide.

News sources can be invaluable research resources. They provide contemporaneous accounts of events as they emerge and unfold, affording a snapshot of developments at a point in time.

By using news archive services, you can also engage in historical research by tracing commentary on issues over time, to identify and track changing political, economic and social trends.

How to find newspaper articles

There is a huge amount of news research material available to you at the University. Use the guides below to help you search:

  • Current news -  how to access articles from regional, national and international newspapers and other publications
  • News archives -  how to find historical news sources by country or theme. These sources offer unique perspectives on events, thoughts and concerns of the time and are a rich source of primary source material for research.

TV, film, sound and image sources can all be important research resources.   

How to find film resources

Use the Database A-Z List to discover the Film and Sound databases that are available to you.

Key resources include Box of Broadcasts - watch recorded TV and radio programmes from free to air channels, and Kanopy - watch critically acclaimed films, documentaries and foreign language films.

You can also visit the Film subject guide to find out more.

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