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ENGL 1302: Writing about Victorian Literature

Service Hours



From the Readings List, select an essay to analyze. Study the piece critically. What was the author’s background and what influence, if any, did that have on the piece? Subject the essay to some rhetorical analysis (video regarding writing a rhetorical analysis essay is included in your assignment folder for your reference). Consider the context and audience for which the essay was originally written. If applicable, does the topic have a broader scope than just the Victorian Era; does it have any relevance to what preceded or followed this time period? Perhaps you see a correlation to current events and can make the case for the essay’s universal application. Just be careful not to forget your main focus, which is to perform a critical analysis of the essay you select. If you wish to consult scholarly commentary about the essay, you are more than welcome to do so; just be sure to document appropriately. Be thorough.

Video Tutorials

Below are video tutorials to help you navigate some of the library resources.

Reference Databases

The following resource will provide you some resources for background information. Doing background research will not only help you narrow your focus, but will also help you identify keywords to use when searching the databases for scholarly articles. 

Switch out keyword examples for class/assignment
Boolean Operators 

Using Boolean operators in a database is highly recommended, as this approach usually generates the most useful results.  Databases are not "intuitive" like search engines (e.g., Google) - they must be "told" how to process a search query.  Boolean operators let you "tell" the database what you want to see in your results.  


Use AND to connect KEYWORDS - Retrieves sources with both/all terms [refines search]

Example: diabetes AND adult AND self-management 


Use OR to connect SYNONYMS & LIKE CONCEPTS - Retrieves sources with either/any term(s) [broadens search]

Example: heart attack AND (female OR women) AND symptoms


Use NOT to EXCLUDE word(s) - Eliminates sources with the word(s) following NOT 

Example: Omega-3 fatty acids NOT fish oils 

Identifying Keywords

When you are conducting your background research on your topic, consider the who, what, when, where and why of what you are reading, and highlight or write the main points down. You can use those as keywords in the databases!

Who, what, when, where and why

Research Databases

Ebook Databases

To view, select the video below and enter your library barcode number or myLoneStar Username and Password Login. Additional videos can be accessed through the library's Video Databases