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EH -- Researching Poems: Find Books

This Library Guide offers assistance in writing research papers on poems. It provides information on poetry as a literary genre, important elements of poetry, including things to look for in reading a poem, and other information.

Page Overview

This page focuses on books.  It offers examples of the types of books which may be used during a research assignment.  One characteristic of the Library of Congress Classification System, which is the system that Houston Cole Library uses, is that like is shelved with like.  For the researcher this means that once you have found the location of the particular book you are seeking, you should scan the titles of nearby books to see if there are others that might help you with your research project.

Selection of Circulating Books

These are some books on drama available through Houston Cole Library.  HCL provides some books in print format, some in electronic format, and some in both.  The catalog record for each book indicates the formats in which it is available.  This list is selective, not comprehensive.  There will be additional books of similar scope at the same shelf location(s) as the books in this list.

The books listed below are circulating books, which means that they may be checked out of the library.  They also are broad in scope, covering a large subject area.  For most research projects the books needed will be those dealing with individual poems or poets.

Selection of Reference Books: Bibliographies

Bibliographies (and print indexes) in the pre-digital era performed the same function largely taken over by electronic databases today (only without any full text options): they direct the user to scholarship and published research on a particular topic.  Because academic subject disciplines in the humanities consider texts and subjects that may be very old, and because many electronic databases do not have deep backfiles that index very far into the past, these older "finding resources" still have use.

Selection of Reference Books: Digest Anthologies and Surveys

Digest anthologies are collections of excerpts from longer critical articles and are useful when the original full-length source is not available.  Surveys provide overview/background information on a topic and are useful in the early stages of a research process for narrowing a broad topic to a more manageable subject about which to write.

Selection of Reference Books: Companions and Encyclopedias

Companions to literature generally are essay anthologies that cover a broad topic from various perspectives.  Encyclopedias offer brief discussions of many topics within the scope of the encyclopedia and are useful for both selecting and narrowing a topic in the early stages of a research process.    

Reference books do not check out from the library but must be used in-house.