Resources and Study Aids for Undergraduate Students
The study of English literature provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills in close reading, critical analysis and interpretation, and persuasive writing for an academic audience. All students can benefit greatly from reviewing and familiarizing themselves with the resources and tools available to them at the University of Ottawa, within the English Department, and elsewhere.
You will find below a list of useful links that the Department of English believes are useful tools for facilitating study and for the development of critical thinking skills, inside and outside of the classroom.
Important Resources Available
Course and Program Information
Writing in the discipline of English requires strong attention to detail, precise word choice, and excellent skills in proofreading, editing, and reviewing. Not only does this involve an awareness of the risks of plagiarism, but also a working knowledge of formatting for essays and assignments; MLA (the style sheet of the Modern Languages Association) is the format required for essays and assignments in English.
At the University of Ottawa, in addition to the resources available from professors and course instructors, we also offer assistance from the Faculty of Arts' Writing Centre and from our Student Success Services' Academic Writing Help Center (AWHC).
Please consult the links below for other tools for proofreading and formatting your assignments.
- Oxford English Dictionary
- One Look Dictionary
- Merriam-Webster Online
- Cambridge Dictionaries Online
- The American Heritage Dictionary
Grammar and Other Style Guides
- Grammar Handbook (University of Illinois)
- Guide to Grammar and Style (Lynch)
- The Elements of Style (Strunk)
- Paradigm Online Writing Assistant
- Columbia Guide to Online Style
- The University of Toronto's General Advice on Academic Essay-Writing
Researching English literature often needs a contextual basis on which to build your analysis, your criticism and your thoughts on the text. Below is a list of links that might be useful for expanding your knowledge of the historical period in which a novel, essay, or short story is written.
The University of Ottawa library not only houses books, articles, and other media; it also employs subject librarians who can meet with you to assist your research needs. Check out the resources available to you via the Research Guides on the library website at http://biblio.uottawa.ca/en/research-help.
The links below are for your information only--for full access to some of these resources, log in and search for them via the University library.
Literary Terms and Other Resources
- Glossary of Literary Terms
- Glossary of Literal and Rhetoric Terms (Lynch)
- Literature Locales at San Jose State
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Research Resources organized by subject
Below is a list of potential resources for research, organized by subject area. These databases from outside the university house articles, bibliographies, and texts that can be useful for your knowledge of the subject you are studying. Should you need assistance, contact your instructor or a subject librarian.
Renaissance literature and early modern studies
Eighteenth century literature
Nineteenth-century British literature
- Jerome McGann’s Rossetti Archive
- The Victorian Web
- The Victorian Women Writers Project
- Thomas Hardy Association
Twentieth-century British literature
American literature and American studies
- Canadian Literature Archive
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
- Canadian Poetry Archive
- Early Canadiana Online
Often, the use of e-Texts for course content (which do not require physical copies of books for class discussions) can allay the cost of undergraduate studies in English, and can facilitate your reading. See the databases listed below for e-Text versions of books, articles, and more. Keep in mind, however, that a course might require a specific scholarly edition, or a version of a text that is not available from these sources; when in doubt, consult with your instructor.
- Bartleby: Great Books Online
- Project Gutenberg
- Electronic Text Center - University of Virginia
- IPL Books Collection
- Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
- The Online Books Page (University of Pennsylvania)
- The Internet Classics Archive (MIT)
- Representative Poetry Online
Below are two links that sell a wider range of books than most bookstores and online marketplaces.