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English/Professional Writing Resources: Databases

This guide contains access points to information specifically geared to assist in completing assignments in preparation for your Bachelor's degree in English/Professional Writing.

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English Databases

Book Collection - Non-Fiction  - is a rich research database for school and public libraries. It contains informative abstracts and searchable full text for more than 4,100 popular nonfiction books. The database includes full text entries on core subject areas, as well as information on careers, health, sports, adventure, technology, life skills and more. Click here for a complete title list. Click here for more info.


Contemporary Authors - offers patrons continuous access to current biographical and bibliographical data on more than 120,000 modern authors, while eliminating your need for product storage.

Each Contemporary Authors® Online entry contains the most complete and up-to-date entry, accessible through an easy-to-use interface with a variety of search paths to help you locate the information you need quickly and efficiently. You can easily search for an author by name, title of work, subject/genre, nationality, date and place of birth, honors, awards and much more.

Added to the database annually are approximately 3,000 new entries and 1,000 full-entry updates from the Contemporary Authors® and Contemporary Authors® New Revision Series print volumes. Look for recent information on J.K. Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Isabel Allende, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Crichton, Derek Walcott, Dave Barry, Toni Morrison, Neil Simon, and many others.

In addition, Contemporary Authors® Online offers continuously updated information on the most active authors in this database. Included are author-provided updates, expanded entries, bibliographies, awards, and recent update information.


Literature Criticism Online - Since the appearance of the first volume of Literature Criticism Online (CLC) in 1973, researchers have grown to depend upon the RUSA (Reference Users Services Association) award-winning reference work for critiques of key contemporary works.

With Literature Criticism Online Select, you have the benefits of Internet access to extensive biographical and critical information combined with subject-term accessibility and other powerful search options. And, with an integrated index that extends to every print volume in this expansive series, cross-referencing is a snap.

Literature Criticism Online Select encompasses more than 600 significant authors and includes more than 266 major retrospective authors re-crafted from the series' earlier volumes. Updates occur bi-monthly.

Dictionary of Literary Biography- provides reliable information in an easily comprehensible format, while placing writers in the larger perspective of literary history.  It systematically presents career biographies and criticism of writers from all eras and all genres through volumes dedicated to specific types of literature and time periods.


Encyclopedia of Literature - allows a reader to analyze an author's work as a reflection of the heritage, traditions and experiences of the author's personal life and the beliefs, events, and lifestyles of the world at the time, given such context as:

  • While composing Requiem: A Cycle of Poems during the Stalinist reign of terror in Russia, Anna Akhmatova whispered the words line by line to her friends, who memorized them before she burned the paper on which they were written.
  • With his father in debtors' prison, Anton Chekhov submitted his short, humorous pieces to popular magazines to earn money and became the breadwinner for his family.
  • Marjane Satrapi grew up in Tehran during the time of the overthrow of the Shah and Iran's transition to fundamentalist Islamic state.

The nearly 500 entries also identify the significant literary devices and global themes that define a writer's style and place the author in a larger literary tradition as chronicled and evaluated by critics over time. For example:

  • Samuel Beckett's work often tried to express the pure anguish of existence as exemplified in the work of French existentialist writers Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • George Eliot chose a male pen name to distinguish herself from the large number of female authors of popular romances during her time.

Critical thinking and activity prompts, in addition to images, further enhance the reader's own personal response to global literature.

While Gale strives to replicate print content, some content may not be available due to rights restrictions.Call your Sales Rep for details.

Literature Resources from Gale - is a search environment, designed specifically for literature research, that searches several Gale Literature databases (Contemporary Authors, Literature Criticism Online Select, Dictionary of Literary Biography, LitFinder, Merriam Webster Encyclopedia of Literature, Scribner Writer's Series, and Twayne's Authors) at the same time. Audience: high school through college, general public


Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.


Scribner Writers Series More than 2,000 original, scholar-signed biocritical entries average 15-20 pages each. They include a concise overview, hyperlinks for cross-referencing and information that places the author's work in personal or historical context.


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Eva B. Dykes Library Libguides by Oakwood University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.