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Canterbury Tales

A guide to resources to find resources for Canterbury Tales.

What is a search strategy?

Developing a strong search strategy can save you time when it is time to search for resources.  Rather than doing general searching using Google, we recommend that you search using the library databases.  Searching Google is much different than searching library databases.

One facet of database searching that can be difficult to get used to is subject heading or keyword searches.  Rather than typing a question in and expecting instant results, users need to focus on identifying and using controlled language searches.

Identifying controlled language for subject headings and keywords is beneficial for the savvy researcher.  Controlled language is typically assigned by the Library of Congress and is then used universally (or at least in English) by vendors and publishers when identifying main points and ideas for their books, journals and other publications.

Once the controlled language for your topic is identified, database searching is usually much easier. 

Language used on websites by various entities can often be arbitrary and inconsistent.


Author names may or may not be easily searchable.  If you're searching in literature and academic databases, you'll increase your chances of locating good secondary sources you can make use of for your paper. Another factor that may impact your searching is how "new" they are as an author -- how much has been written about them and their work?

You will want to search for your author as a subject first.  There may be value in searching for them as an author, have they written about being a writer or similar topics?  It doesn't hurt to check and see.

When searching for criticism, use that as a search term!  The official subject heading is: criticism & interpretation.  Both of these words can help weed down your results if you're feeling overwhelmed!