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Literature & Language Arts -- General Resources   Tags: english, essay writing, language arts, literature, research paper, topic selection  

This guide identifies information resources useful in Literature & Language Arts including library research databases, journals, news, and other reference sources.
Last Updated: May 9, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

General resources for Literature & Language Arts Students Print Page

Hamlet...a different way


Classical Texts Online

Because they pre-date copyright laws by centuries, classic texts and older translations can often be found in their entirety online. Listed below are several sites that host copies of classical works.

  • Google Books
    Google Books has thousands of searchable books, including classical works. Some of the books at Google Books can be viewed in part. These are labeled "limited preview" in red. Older materials with expired copyright, like classical works and many translations, can be viewed in their entirety. These are labeled "full view" in green. Many of these can be downloaded in PDF format.
  • The Internet Archive - Text  
    The Internet Archive is an ambitious project to offer permanent access to a vast collection of web pages, music, audio files, and texts. The text section, like Google Books, includes thousands of books and other materials scanned from libraries.
  • Project Gutenberg  
    The first free e-book site on the web. Contains thousands of texts, including many selections from classical authors. All of the e-books are downloadable in "plain text" (.txt) format for viewing in most word processing software and portable devices. Project Gutenberg isn't the most user-friendly site. Get tips on how to use the site on their Reader's Frequently Asked Questions (below).
  • Project Gutenberg Reader's FAQ  
    Tips for using Project Gutenberg.
  • Perseus Digital Library   
    A collection of transcribed texts, including many Greek and Roman materials. Most are English translations, but some are available in Greek and Latin. See the tutorial (below) for tips on how to search and use the site.
  • Perseus Tutorial   
    How to use the Perseus Digital Library.
  • The Internet Classics Archive at MIT    
    Over 400 classical works in English translation.
  • Theoi Classical E-texts Library    
    A collection of Greek and Roman works in English translation, thematically related to classical mythology.
  • LibriVox: Classics  
    LibriVox is a source for downloadable public domain audio books, usually recorded by volunteers. LibriVox has a small selection of classical works.


Text your questions to a CBC librarian at (501) 218-8509

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Major Resources and Tools

Online Catalog (To find books in the CBC library)

Research Databases (To find articles online. This link will take you to an A to Z list of available databases. Use the following recommended databases to find information on Literature & Language Arts.)

    • Academic OneFile                 
    • Academic Search Premier
    • CQ Electronic Library
    • Contemporary Authors
    • Ebrary Academic (ebooks)
    • Encyclopedia Britannica
    • Facts on File (Writer's Reference Center)
    • Learning Express (practice tests for composition and grammar)
    • Lexis Nexis Academic
    • Literary Reference Center
    • Global Issues in Context

Journals (print)

  • Essays in Criticism
  • Editor & Publisher
  • Journal of Modern Literature
  • Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Literature & Theology
  • Philological Review
  • Review of Contemporary Fiction
  • Studies in the Literary Imagination
  • Theater


    Selecting a Topic -- Tips

    Here are a few good strategies for selecting a topic if you’re looking for essay writing ideas:

    1. Evaluate the time you have to devote to your paper. For example, if you are carrying a heavy credit load, you may not want to choose a topic that requires you to visit other libraries for materials. It would be better to write a paper about a current event.

    2. Try to focus your topic to a define issue. For example, you might want to write about human trafficking; however, this topic is too vague. You will need to learn a little bit more about the topic before you define the issue you'd like to write about. In this example, you might focus on effective tactics to counter trafficking, or focus on child trafficking from a specific region.

    3. Pick a topic that will interest you. What are you passionate about? What do you know a lot about? What do you want to learn more about? You should find something in which you have a natural interest, or is of such general interest that it is reqularly reported on in newspapers and journals and writting about in books.

    4. The process: USE PREWRITING TECHNIQUES to get ideas down on paper.

    a) Brainstorm – Focus on an idea for a set time (say fifteen minutes) and list every idea that comes to mind about a given topic. Do not reject any idea, no matter how absurd. Do not try to list in any order (1, 2 ,3 or A, B, C). Do write down ideas all over the page.

    b) Cluster ideas and/or words – Group ideas or words that belong together to discover connections among ideas. Clustering is often done after brainstorming so that similar ideas can be grouped together.

    c) Make lists – Outline informally the major points in a tentative order.

    d) Free write – Focus on an idea for a set time (say ten minutes) and write down those ideas in paragraph or "essay" format. Do write down every idea, no matter how absurd or unrelated it may seem. Do not think about or be concerned with organization, grammar, sentence structure, or punctuation. Do not stop writing for the given time period.

    e) Explore new ideas and a variety of points of view on your topic.

    5. **Most important: If you are not sure how to research your topic, make an appointment with a librarian or stop by the reference desk in the library.



    CBC Librarians are always happy to help! Click one of the links below to get answers to frequently asked questions. Or send us a text message or email to contact us immediately.

    To submit a research or library question to a librarian, click HERE

    For help and tutorials, click HERE.

    For Citation help and style guides and other online research information, click HERE.


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