Skip to Main Content

ENGL 416: Modern Poetry (Dr. Wilson)

Biographical Information

Critical Articles

Advanced Searching in the MLA International Bibliography

The MLA International Bibliography is an essential resource for literary and film study in modern languages. The MLAIB has subject headings, or keywords, that describe the content of articles. These subject headings can be very helpful in exploring a topic, finding examples of primary texts, and locating secondary texts.

The subject headings are located in the MLA Thesaurus in the upper right corner of the MLAIB.

On the homepage of the MLAIB, the link for MLA Thesaurus in the top right corner is highlighted.



In the thesaurus, enter a keyword like "naturalism" or "feminism." Change the option below the search box to "relevancy ranked" and click browse. Make sure you're using the second search box, not the main box with the green search button.



Our search for "naturalism" found several options. Note that "naturalism" is a blue link. This means that there are broader or narrower related topics that we can choose from by clicking the link.



In this case, the MLA suggests one broader term and one narrower term. We can add these to our search by clicking one or both of the checkboxes next to the term, or we can click on either of these terms to find more keywords that may be helpful for our search.




Clicking on "literary movements" gives us many other literary movements, in addition to naturalism, which we can explore by adding to our search. We can also use the back button to return to our original search for naturalism-related sources.



In our original search, we can choose both "Naturalism" and "American naturalism" to add to our search using the "OR" limiter. This will find articles and book chapters that contain one of these terms. Click "add" to create your search, click the green search button at the top of the page to retrieve all books, book chapters, and articles that have one of these subject headings as a keyword.


This search found 2,055 results. You can use the limiters in the left column to exclude dissertations and to set a publication time frame if you wish.



We can also limit our search by adding a work or author to our search. Add the new keyword on a new line. Our search for McTeague and either the subject "naturalism" or "American naturalism" retrieves 51 results.


Some articles in MLAIB include a link to the full text within the item record.



Other articles have either a link at the bottom of the item record or will have a link that says "Check for Full Text at Wofford." If neither of these links leads you to the article, you can request the article through interlibrary loan.



Finally, MLAIB lists a number of books and book chapters, which will not be linked as full text.



You can search for the title of the book in Wofford OneSearch to see if Wofford owns the book, and if we do not, you request the book through interlibrary loan.