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ENGL 211 Library Guide (Berks)

Welcome to the library guide for Dr. Jeanne Rose's ENGL 211 class at Penn State Berks!

Search Tools

We can think of search tools as following into two types: general and specialized.  General search tools cover many subjects; specialized search tools focus on one subject.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each.  Choose a search tool from the list below, read over the power tips, and start searching!


blue checkmarkPower Tips:

  • Research your topic within the context of Writing Studies (not biography or literary criticism). Writing Studies deals with "analyzing the production, consumption, and circulation of writing in specific contexts." (UC Santa Barbara Writing Program).   You'll examine such topics as a writer in specific social and historical contexts, writers and audiences/reception, writer’s craft, psychology and writing, a writer's use of different mediums.


  • Self-Studies: Look for sources about undergraduate writers like yourself and apply them to your own writing.  Do you see the same themes in your writing discussed in these sources about other student writers?  How does your writing process compare to those of other student writers?  


  • Public intellectuals: Find scholarly articles about things like personal branding, social media, political messaging and apply them to your topic.  How does your selected intellectual use personal branding, social media, political messaging in their communication?  Does your  intellectual use the same or different communication techniques that are discussed in those sources?  How did you intellectual learn to use those techniques?  Why do they choose to communicate in the medium (social media, TV ads, film, etc.)?


  • Literary figures: Please avoid straight literary interpretation/exposition (literary criticism).  Avoid literary devices.  Instead try to answer a question in your paper like one of these: How did the figure connect to their audience?  How did historical events shape their writing? What factors shaped how that figure learned to write/communicate?


General Search Tools

Specific Search Tools