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LTWR307: Writing Workshop in Argument and Analysis (Prufrock): MLA Searches

MLA Searches

MLA Database Tips

How to Search the Bibliography (from the Modern Language Association website)

Using the MLA International Bibliography begins with a search. The bibliography offers many search options, which can be selected and combined to tailor the results to the researcher’s specific needs. These options include


  • literary authors and their works (e.g., “Achebe, Chinua”; “Things Fall Apart”)

  • subject terms, including people, characters, places, periods, movements, and subject matter (e.g., “Wordsworth, William,” “Lake District,” “1700-1899,” “Romanticism,” and “landscape”)

  • titles of articles, books, and other scholarly works indexed in the bibliography

  • academic authors and their works (e.g., “Butler, Judith”; “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity”)

  • language of publication (e.g., “French language”)

  • date of publication (e.g., “2014,” “2005-2015”)

  • limit to peer-reviewed journal articles


A searchable list of all the subject terms in the bibliography and their related terms can be found in the MLA Thesaurus, included with every subscription. 

The MLA International Bibliography also includes the Directory of Periodicals, which lists journals and book series indexed in the bibliography and provides extensive editorial information about them. Search the Directory of Periodicals to find a list of journals and book series on a given subject or to find detailed information on a specific journal or book series. Depending on which vendor provides the bibliography, you may see a separate link to the Directory of Periodicals on your library’s list of databases, or the directory may be accessed from the bibliography’s home page.

Results List from a search on Moll Flanders:


Annotated screenshot of an MLA International Bibliography search results page for search terms "moll flanders"




General Information:
--Title of the entry (whether article, book, book chapter, etc.) is the hyperlinked line. Click here to see more information on the entry.
--Author is the person(s) who wrote the article, not the subject of your study.
--Source notes the title of the journal or book that this entry is from.
--Volume, year of publication, and pages within the source are given and needed for any citation or loan request. Books, book chapters and dissertations will also have publisher listed with place of publication.
--Book Article denotes a chapter in a larger work. You would search the CSUSM catalog for the BOOK title, not chapter title.

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This icon will link you to the full text if available in other databases provided by CSUSM. The link is not successful on searching book chapters, so double check the catalog by the book title.