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English and Comparative Literature

Research Assistance

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Michelle Brasseur
Young Research Library, Level A

Online Catalogs

To find books in the UCLA Library and beyond, use the following catalogs:

Tips for Book Searching

When searching for books, here are a few strategies to start with:

  1. If you are not sure of where to start, do a KEYWORD search for relevant terms or phrases (put the phrases in "quotation marks".
  2. If you already have a relevant book or article in hand, use its bibliography to find other sources;
  3. Do a subject heading search in a catalog (see box to the right).
  4. Use quotation marks if you want to search a phrase.
  5. Use ? to truncate a word, e.g., american? will retrieve american and americans.

What about Google Book Search?

Google Book Search can be a useful tool for discovering books. However, keep these suggestions in mind for making the most of your Google book searching:

  1. Use the advanced search screen so that you can do more targeted searches. For example, do a subject search rather than a keyword search if you are looking for literature or criticism in a particular period or genre (e.g., "medieval literature).
  2. Remember that Google is a commercial site that is designed to get you to buy things. Be sure to use the "Find it in a library" link to see if we have it here at UCLA.
  3. Keep in mind that not everything is in Google Book Search, so don't assume that if a book is not there that it doesn't exist. Use Google in addition to library catalogs and databases, not instead of them.

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