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ENGL 102: Black American Detective Fiction (Dr. Neighbors)

Background and Biographical Information

These sources are great for background information - discovering facts about your topic, finding broad trends about Black detective fiction, and generating ideas for your paper. The last three sources on the list are scholarly books.

OneSearch Tips

Begin your search in OneSearch on the library homepage with a broad set of keywords - you can always narrow your search results later. Here, we'll begin the keywords race and "detective fiction." We've put "detective fiction" in quotation marks so that the words will be searched as a phrase, only finding sources with the two words next to each other.

Our initial search found nearly 3,000 results, including books, scholarly articles, reference sources like encyclopedias, and magazine articles.



One easy way to narrow our results is to limit our search to only scholarly and peer-reviewed journal articles. You'll find the limiter in the left column under the heading Availability.


Now we have about 1,000 results, but the first page of results is mostly about non-American authors. We can add keywords to our search to make our topic more specific and get better results.


In the search box at the top of the page, we can add the term "African American" to specify that we want articles about issues of race in detective fiction featuring African American authors or characters. Before clicking the search button, find the "Remember All Filters" link in the left column and click that link to continue to search only for scholarly articles.


In this search, the first article that appears is about African American detective fiction. When we click on the title, we are directed to an item page that includes a link to the article under the heading "View Online." Follow this link, logging into your MyWofford account if prompted, to access the full text of the article.


As you search, click the pushpin icon next to promising sources to save the sources to your OneSearch account - just make sure that you are logged in at the top of the OneSearch page! This way, you will be able to return your sources later by logging into OneSearch.