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English 4996: Guide to Resources: Childhood in Literature

Resources for writing about portrayals of children in adult literature, poetry, prose, and film.

Google Books

Google Books searches the full-text of books.  It is great for narrow topics because it lets you search within the text of books. You can then locate the book in a nearby library.

Google Book Search

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Tips for Database Searching

Boolean Operators

AND: Using AND narrows your search results. Using AND makes the database only pull articles with both phrases. 

OR: Using OR broadens your search results. It is useful if you want to include synonyms for your keywords.  

NOT: Using NOT narrows your search results. It is useful if you do not want a specific word or phrase in our search results. It can also be used to eliminate concepts that might be associated with your search. 


Other Techniques

Truncation: Use an asterisk to search for words that share the same root word. Instead of searching and returning results only with the phrase "child", truncation tells the database to return all words that start with "child", so it would find child, childs, children, childhood, childbirth, etc. 

Wildcards: The symbol for Wildcards can vary from database to database, but the most common symbol is a question mark. Use a wildcard to stand in for any English character. This can be used for when words have different common spellings or when words have a hyphen between them.

Quotations: Placing your search term in quotations makes the database return results where the exact phrase is found, without other words between. 


Finding eBooks

The University has access to not only print books and journal databases, but to many platforms with eBooks. The eBook platforms below allow for full text search, an advantage it has over many of the research databases. Some eBooks are also listed in MERLIN and linked to the database they come from. Please note that if the eBook in MERLIN is associated with a different campus (UMSL, UMKC, Missouri S&T, etc) you will not be able to access it. 

Relevant eBooks

Here are some general texts about childhood studies:
Other Relevant eBooks: