Course resource help for English Literature and Creative Writing

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Need help? Contact your librarian

Please get in touch if you have any queries about:

  • finding information and resources for assignments
  • finding online resources
  • referencing your sources

Joanna Cooksey

I'm currently hybrid working, so will sometimes be on Headington campus and sometimes working from home. Please email in the first instance. If you need a 1-to-1 appointment we can then arrange one either face-to-face or via Zoom or Google Meet. My usual working hours are 8.00 - 16.00, Monday - Friday.


Citing your sources (also called referencing) is an essential part of your academic work and is explained fully on our library referencing webpage.

If you are a student in English Literature, Drama or Creative Writing, you will need to use the MHRA referencing style in your assignments, projects and dissertation. 

Check the guide Reference with MHRA which shows you how to create footnotes and bibliographies, and how to reference different types of sources.

Outdoor study scene with chair, desk, books and laptop

Use the Library as a new student

Use LibrarySearch to find books and articles

LibrarySearch is our main search system. You can connect to it through the link below or use the search box on the Library home page. 

Find resources for your assignments

Check the Google slides (right) for advice on where to search for sources for different assignments. They cover:

  • Module reading lists - where to find them, how to understand them
  • LibrarySearch - exploring beyond your reading lists
  • Library databases - recommended for finding additional resources that aren't on LibrarySearch
  • Google & Google Scholar - how to use them effectively

Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre Collection

The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre Collection was set up in collaboration with the Poetry Centre to showcase contemporary poetry. 

Much of the Collection comprises books that have been shortlisted for poetry prizes in the UK, Ireland and USA. It also includes the poetry pamphlets published by the award-winning ignitionpress, an imprint set up by the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.

All books can be borrowed.

Dissertations, Major Projects and independent research

How to search databases

The Library has lots of databases that will give you a wide variety of additional sources, beyond what you will find on LibrarySearch. Many databases focus on journal articles but others contain newspaper articles or audio-visual resources.

In this section you'll find links to some key databases plus video guides: 

Further databases are listed in the Resources section above.

Think about your keywords

If you're looking for resources on a topic, a text or an author, think about the keywords you could use on LibrarySearch and databases:

  • Check this video Choosing words to put in a search box made by Charlie Brampton, the Librarian for Geography.
  • This template Researching a text, author or topic (Google doc) - can help you develop a list of keywords to use when searching online.
    Click on File - Make a copy - to save your own copy and then add your own notes to it 
  • The guide Database search tips for English Literature and Creative Writing PDF and Word file gives tips relevant to searching most databases. 
laptop surrounded by papers and pens

How to use JSTOR

An archive of full-text articles from a range of academic journals with good coverage of literary journals. It also includes open access eBooks.

Problems accessing JSTOR? Check the JSTOR troubleshooting guide

JSTOR research tools:

Highly recommended for anyone studying Shakespeare is JSTOR's Understanding Shakespeare tool that lets you look up quotations from a Shakespeare play and find JSTOR articles that reference them.

Try the Text Analyser tool (BETA) available on the database home page. You can upload an article and the tool will find similar content in the database. 

How to use MLA International Bibliography

EBSCO is a web platform that gives you access to the literature database MLA International Bibliography and several others that may be useful. All of these databases work in the same way.

MLA is a key database for in-depth research in literary studies that can help you find articles, books and book chapters.

Academic Search Complete is a large database covering all subject areas. It contains lots of full text articles and is an excellent resource for any topic. Combine it with MLA to broaden your search - see the video guide for details.

How to use Performing Arts Periodicals Database

Performing Arts Periodicals Database is a mainly full-text database covering theatre, film, TV and computer games. It's recommended for Drama modules and is a good place to find reviews of plays in performance

Discover BoB (Box of Broadcasts)

BoB is an online service which gives you access to thousands of recorded TV, radio programmes and films from an online archive. 

Follow the link to access BoB. Click on 'Sign in', then type Oxford Brookes University in the Where are you from? box. The first time you access BoB, you will be prompted to create an account.

man playing tuba next to mural of Shakespeare

Explore BoB playlists

Create your own playlists or browse existing ones. Take a look at the links below for a selection of playlists created by your Librarian.

Discover Digital Theatre+

Digital Theatre+ is a collection of drama & theatre resources including essays, recordings of live performances & interviews with theatre practitioners. It's a key resource for Drama students. NB If using Chrome, make sure you have the latest version.

Photo of production of Negative Space from Digital Theatre+
Photo of production of Negative Space from Digital Theatre+

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