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EH501 -- Introduction to Graduate Study in English: Books (Circulating)

This LibGuide is the companion guide to the EH501 course offered by the English Department at Jacksonville State University. It is intended for graduate students and rising professionals in the field, and its content may be used to complement other EH cou

Page Overview

This page considers the types and sections of books used in scholarly research.  It also lists databases from which electronic books (eBooks) can be harvested.

Library Catalog Basic Search

Basic search in the Houston Cole Library catalog. 

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Advanced Search

Types of Circulating Books

The following links provide brief information on the types of books or other scholarly publications graduate students in English or other rising academics can expect to encounter as they pursue their studies.  Most of the books will be types that can circulate (i.e., be checked out of the library).

Entries for these scholarly source types can also be found in the following Houston Cole Library reference books:

A Handbook to Literature   Ref PN41.H3555 (6th floor)    [NOTE: Every graduate student in literature should have a personal copy of this book.]

Dictionary for Library and Information Science   Ref Z1006.R45  2004 (10th floor)   

Aspects of the Book

Most commonly-accessed sections of books

  • main body
  • table of contents (forematter)
  • index with page references (aftermatter)

Too-often overlooked sections of books

  • Forward/Introduction/Preface (forematter), which can reveal 
    • scope of book (what is included or excluded, and why)
    • intended audience or context (such as a response to previous scholarship)
    • relevant scholarship on the topic of the book, scholarship which may not be otherwise traceable)
    • in the case of anthologies or essay collections, brief summaries or "abstracts" of each essay in the collection
  • List of additional sources (aftermatter)
    • source materials which you may find useful for your research even if it was not found useful for the book you are consulting

NOTE: "Sources used" means they have a note or reference someplace in the body of the book; they somehow contribute to the content.  "Sources consulted" means that the author looked at them during the research process, but for some reason did not include them in the book.

Search for eBooks

Start with these Databases to Locate Electronic Books


To find books on a topic, you can either search the Library Catalog using the top box in the left pane, or you can search one of the following databases: