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How to Research Literature Topics: Find Literary Works

A guide to finding sources for literature papers at Valencia libraries.

How to Search for Literary Works

Begin with the Library Catalog to find works of literature in Valencia libraries. The strategy is a bit different depending on if the work is a short work versus a full-length book. If we do not have the book you need, you may be able to find it electronically.

If you're not able to find the work of literature using these resources, try your local public library:

Orange County Library System

Osceola Library System

Seminole County Public Library

Searching for novels and other full-length books...

Go to the Library Catalog

  1. Click on Advanced Search.
  2. Change the drop-down menu for the first box to Author, then enter the author's name. (It's important to search by author, because you want to find books by this person, not works about this person).
  3. If you want to find a specific work, change the drop-down menu for the second box to title, and enter the title.
  4. Limit the search to Books or to E-books. Note that not all print books are available as e-books, and vice versa.

To find a print book, write down the call number.

To open an e-book, click View Online. (It helps to be logged in through Atlas. If you are not logged in through Atlas, you will be prompted to enter your Borrower ID and PIN.)

Searching for short stories, poems and other short works...

Go to the Library Catalog

  1. Enter the title of the short story, poem or other work in quotation marks. Example: "story of an hour" The quotation marks are important because they make sure all the words of this title will be found together in that order.
  2. Limit the search to Books or to E-books. Note that not all print books are available as e-books, and vice versa.
  3. In the results that appear, check the Details tab to view the table of contents. Look for one that contains your story or poem.

Note: If you are using Advanced Search, don't search by Title. This will search for books that have your story title as the title of the whole book. Most short stories, plays and poems are published as just one chapter of a larger book. The larger book could be called something like, Best American Short Stories. The title is not usually the same as the title of your short story or poem. For this kind of search, it's best just to use a keyword search.

To find a print book, write down the call number.

To open an e-book, click View Online. (It helps to be logged in through Atlas. If you are not logged in through Atlas, you will be prompted to enter your Borrower ID and PIN.)

Other ways to find books online

If you cannot find the book you need in Valencia's libraries, try these sources for online books:

Google Books

Find the full text of older, classic works. Thanks to the preview feature, you may be able to find significant portions of newer works as well.

Project Gutenberg

This site is best for older, classic works.

Subject Guide