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Cambridge LibGuides

English Faculty Library Subject Guides: Home

A site dedicated to resources for English Faculty students

Evaluating your sources

How reliable are your sources? Are they the BEST sources for your work?

Ask yourself these 10 questions.

  1. Who authored the information?
  2. What expertise does the writer have?
  3. What evidence is used? Does the writer cite his/her sources?
  4. What genre is the document: journalism, academic paper, blog, polemic?
  5. Is the site/document/report funded by an institution?
  6. What argument is being made?
  7. When was the text produced?
  8. Why did this information emerge at this point in history?
  9. Who is the audience for this information?
  10. What is not being discussed and what are the political consequences of that absence

(Taken from 'The Google Effect: Googling, blogging, wikis and the flattening of expertise' Tara Brabazon, Libri, 2006, v. 56, pp 157-167)

Top resources for the English tripos

(find more in the English Literature A-Z)

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) - Current searchable online edition of the OED. Useful for history of individual words, and of the English language.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) - Concise, scholarly biographies of historical and literary figures. Searchable and quotable.

Cambridge Companions Online

Oxford Very Short Introductions

Literature Online (LION) - Includes Author Pages (with scholarly biographies, lists of works, and links to related journal articles) and online versions of reference books such as The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms.

Oxford Scholarly Editions Online - Online, searchable editions of primary texts. Includes editions of works by Dickens, Donne, and Dryden through to Virgil, Wordsworth and the New Oxford Shakespeare.

ARTstor - A digital library of images and accompanying scholarly information.

The Bible - 20 versions of the English Bible.

Times Digital Archive 1785-2010 - Searchable digital copies of The Times Between 1785-2010.

Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive - Every page of every copy of the TLS published from 1902-2011.

Literature Timeline - Interactive timeline from the British Library. Detailing the evolution of English language and literature, from the 11th century to the present day. See more literature timelines from EFL here.

Voice of the Shuttle: literature in English  - Extensive Web directory created by Alan Liu of the University of California. 

Literary Resources in the Net - Collection of links to online resources for English and American literature. Created by Jack Lynch of Rutgers University. 

Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present


(Searchable indexes of scholarly books and articles - good for tracking down references)

MLA International Bibliography

The Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL)

Arts & Humanities Citation Index (included in the Web of Science Core Collection)


Practical Criticism & Critical Practice:

The faculty's virtual classroom: An Introduction to Practical Criticism - includes a short history of the paper and an introductory online class.

The Forest of Rhetoric - silva rhetoricae - Resource explaining the major concepts of classical rhetoric.

PhilPapers - Extensive database of journals and books on philosophers and theorists such as Theodor W. Adorno, Roland Barthes and Walter Benjamin.

Prac Crit - An online journal of poetry and criticism, dedicated to reading contemporary poems up close.

The Faber Poetry Library - A collection of some of the most influential poets of the twentieth century.

The Cambridge Literature Timeline

From Beowulf to Zadie Smith, the Timeline is an easy-to-use visual aid that runs the whole gamut of English Literature.  Major writers are represented alongside key historical events and movements from 1066 to the present day.  Each author is linked to his or her scholarly biographical entry on Literature Online.


The Cambridge Companions to Literature and Classics are available online. Use them to gain quick access to short chapters on a wide range of authors, time periods and genres.