Sources For Literature Question Writing

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The Laughing Man
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Sources For Literature Question Writing

Post by The Laughing Man »

What reputable internet and print sources have you found that are good sources of plot summaries for literature questions? I have trouble with finding summaries of lesser works when writing questions with the author as the answer. Obviously, there are things like masterplots, but that isn't helpful when you wish to include a clue about an author's lesser work like, to choose a random example, Theophilus North, summaries of which are difficult to find from reputable sources.
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Matt Weiner
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Re: Sources For Literature Question Writing

Post by Matt Weiner »

Google Books can sometimes get you the text of those obscure works, and you can try to figure out what the good clues are. It's a hit-or-miss process, and sometimes your clues will be constrained by what you can research.
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Re: Sources For Literature Question Writing

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

If you have access to the online library of a University, there are lots of good references you can use in there to find those obscure plots.
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dtaylor4
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Re: Sources For Literature Question Writing

Post by dtaylor4 »

Through the U of I, I have access to Magill OnLiterature, which contains: Masterplots and Masterplots II, Cyclopedia of World Authors, Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Magill's Literary Annual, Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy as well as World Philosophers and Their Works. I have no idea how others can access it, but I use it a lot.
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Re: Sources For Literature Question Writing

Post by Magister Ludi »

If you have the money, I would suggest buying a subscription to Enotes. It has lots of plot summaries of lesser known works and poems (including Theophlius North) and is a worthwile investment both for writing questions and studying. It also has separate entries for famous writer's short fiction, which I find useful.
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magin
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Re: Sources For Literature Question Writing

Post by magin »

This is not an exhaustive list, but I've found Bartleby and Luminarium to be excellent sources for literature questions, as well as Google Books. Also, book reviews (by reputable sites/individuals) can be very useful for finding clues about obscure works; when I looked up Theophilus North while editing the Wilder tossup for ACF Fall last year, the best source I found was a New York Times review.
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Re: Sources For Literature Question Writing

Post by KGeee »

The Norton Anthologies are EXCELLENT. They have one for many different topics ranging from specific (such as Harlem Renaissance) to the broad-such as Western Literature. Most older volumes are available from half.com cheaply. The summaries of the authors tend to tell small bits about minor works, and most include minor works with maybe one of the major works of noted authors.
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