Scholarly articles from journals contain the most current writings about a subject, for the most part. While books also contain current analysis, articles are the most common form of publishing. Use articles when you need an in-depth interpretation of a text or theory. Articles often tend to be shorter than book chapters, as well, and can give you a focused analysis.
Suggested Search Terms
When searching for critical articles in a database, you should take the important words of your topic and use those as your search terms. From there, you can check the subject terms on the articles you like, the subject terms on the side, or the subject list/thesaurus of the database. For instance, if you were looking for articles discussing gender if Twelfth Night, you can put "gender" in the first search box and "Twelfth Night" in the second. Make sure to include synonyms for your search terms with an OR; many databases will autofill these for you. And don't forget to ask your librarian for help!
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