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Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures

Finding Articles

The library's journal articles can be accessed in one of 3 ways:

Print journals can typically be found bound together in book form and can be checked out. These are often referred to as "periodicals" and can be found on the 2nd floor of the library (on the same level/wing as Starbucks)

You can find journals that are on microfilm in the library. Each reel of microfilm contains several issues of a particular journal or newspaper. You can look at and print from microfilm using machines called microfilm readers. Please ask at the reference desk or at the information desk on the 2nd floor for assistance.

The library subscribes to hundreds of journals online which are available through the databases. Each database provides access to different journals. MLA, JSTOR, and Project MuseAcademic Search Premier. See the links to these databases in the Databases box on this page.

Citation Searching

You can use Google Scholar to find out if other authors have cited a specific article. This can help you to find other articles that are relevant to your topic and to figure out the interconnections among various articles and research.

Simply perform your search from the Google Scholar search page and then click on the Cited by link at the bottom of each citation in your results. Be aware that the number of results you find are limited to the content that is available on the web.

For advanced citation searching, check out the article "Google Scholar: the New Generation of Citation Indexes".


See below for some databases to start with when researching topics in languages and literature. Remember, due to the interdiscliplinary nature of literature studies, other databases in topics such as history, philosophy, and cultural studies (to name a few) may also be worthwhile to explore. Click here for a subject list of links to all the databases provided by the library. 

When you find an article, click on the red box that says "Find It" to see the library's holdings. There also may be a PDF Full Text link from the citation which will give you the full text of the article immediately.

MLA International Bibliography
Citations to published scholarly literature in linguistics, modern languages, literature, communicative behavior, and folklore. Detailed coverage of English, American, European, Asian, African, and Latin American literature.

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (CSA)
Covers disciplines concerned with the nature and use of language. The database covers all aspects of the study of language including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Complete coverage is also given to various fields of linguistics including descriptive, historical, comparative, theoretical and geographical linguistics.

The JSTOR project seeks to develop online access to the full back files of selected journals. The database contains a digitized image of every page and is searchable by every word.

Project Muse
Offers 300 humanities, arts, and social sciences journals from 60 scholarly publishers.

Academic Search Premier
Contains indexing for more than 8,100 journals, with full text for nearly 4,500 of those titles.

Literature Criticism Online
Use to trace a work's critical reception throughout time. 

Each database works a little differently so if you need help, be sure to visit the reference desk and speak to a librarian who can show you how to search them more effectively. You can also send me an email or call and I will walk you through a search.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar

In addition to the library databases, you can use Google Scholar to search for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and journal articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. With the Advanced Scholar Search, you can search by author, publication, and date and limit your results to specific subject areas. 

When you are using a computer on the Fresno State campus (including laptops), Google Scholar is set up to provide a link to all journals that Henry Madden Library subscribes to. Just click on the link next to the search result that you are interested in and you will be directed to the library catalog to see if we have it.

To see these links from your home computer, go to Scholar Preferences from the main Google Scholar search page. Go to the Library Links section and search for Fresno State. From the results, choose the library and then click on Save Preferences at the bottom of the page.

Click here for more information about using Google Scholar.

Search Tips

Search Tips: Using Boolean Logic

You can use Boolean logic when you are searching a database for journal articles. Boolean "operators" (AND, OR and NOT) define the relationships between the terms you enter in the search bar(s).

  • AND can be used between terms to expand the search to include all terms (ex. search for the terms "travel" and "Europe")
  • OR allows for results that contain at least one of the terms you enter (ex. "college" OR "university")
  • NOT excludes terms so that you can specificy that search results not contain certain terms (USE WITH CAUTION)

The following table illustrates the operation of Boolean terms:

And Or Not
Each result contains all search terms. Each result contains at least one search term. Results do not contain the specified terms.
The search heart and lung finds items that contain both heart and lung. The search heart or lung finds items that contain either heart or items that contain lung. The search heart not lung finds items that contain heart but do not contain lung.

Other Tips:

  • Keyword Searching---search key words in the title, author, and/or subject field (use the drop down menu to change fields. Keyword is usually the default)

  • Use quotation marks to search for terms together (useful when searching a certain phrase or the title of an article) ex. "social networking"
  • Use an asterisk (*) to search for alternate word endings (ex. immigra* retrieves immigration, immigrant, immigrants, immigrated, etc...)