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ENGL 0130 - Winter 2024


To get started today, log into a classroom computer or your own personal laptop, tablet, etc. and open the MRU Library website

How to find the ENGL 0130 (Lau) course guide:

  1. Go to the library home page (
  2. Click on "Research Support" (on the menu bar)
  3. Click "Subject Guides & Specialists"
  4. Look for English and click "guide"
  5. Look for "courses" (on the menu) bar and select "ENGL 0130 - Lau"


  1. What information do I need to know for this assignment?
  2. How do I find this information?
  3. How do I cite this information?


OBJECTIVE: This assignment is designed to give you practice at 1) using MRU Library's resources to conduct research and 2) documenting sources in accordance with MLA guidelines. This assignment consists of TWO PARTS.

Topic: Choose a Canadian author from the list provided on the assignment sheet.


Part 1:

Works Cited (bibliography):  MLA 9th edition style

  1. Two (2) primary sources i.e., titles of novels, plays, memoirs, or collections written by your chosen author.

  2. Two (2) encyclopedia entries about this author’s life and works. Possible databases to use: Oxford Reference, CREDO Reference, Gale Literature Resource Center. These are considered secondary sources.

  3. One (1) scholarly article from an academic journal that comments on one or more of your author's works. These are also considered secondary sources.

Part 2:

For Part II, read the scholarly article you have selected for Part One. You will then write an annotated bibliography for this scholarly article. Your annotated bibliography MUST:

  • Provide a complete citation that includes all the relevant publication information for your chosen article

  • Include an accurate and detailed description or summary of your chosen article that follows the citation. Your summary should be detailed enough to give your reader a clear understanding of the article (its central argument, its scope, etc.). In other words, if someone asked what this article is about, what would you say?

  • Incorporate one (1) direct quotation in your summary. This quotation must be effectively integrated. A correct in-text citation must follow your quotation.

  • Follow MLA guidelines for citation and formatting.

  • Appear on a separate page than Part 1.

Conducting Academic Research With LibrarySearch 

LibrarySearch is MRU Library's one-stop search interface/catalogue that brings together resources across format, time, and subject. 

We have about 1.3 million e-resources and 221,000 physical resources in our collection, and LibrarySearch searches across those.

Things to remember when using LibrarySearch:

  1. Sign in to save searches, items, and to request materials.

  2. Use the pin icon to save books and articles to your Favorites for future reference.

  3. Use the filters on the right. You will use Availability, Resource Type, and Date filters most often. Filter settings can be "locked in" so that you don't have to reapply them to every search that you make.

  4. Some items may not be available, however, you can request unavailable items using what is called interlibrary loan.

  5. When viewing an item record, scroll down to the Get it (for hardcopy/physical items) or Access options (for electronic items) section to get access to the item.

Helpful Search Operators to Use in LibrarySearch

You can use what are called search operators to search in a way to combine or omit different terms by telling the search engine exactly what you want and this can help you save some time (and frustration!)

  • Use quotation marks to keep specific phrases together:

    • "public space"

    • "inclusive design"

    • "artificial intelligence"

    • "fast fashion"

    • "#FreeBritney"

  • Use AND to combine search terms (LibrarySearch automatically creates an AND when you write terms one after another, but it can be good practice to use an AND to help you understand the searches that you build) (AND narrows your search):

    • "inclusive design" AND "public libraries"

    • "artificial intelligence" AND labour

  • Use OR to connect two or more near synonymous or similar terms (OR broadens your search):

    • "climate change" OR "global warming"

    • "artificial intelligence" OR "AI"

  • Use wild cards to substitute a letter or suffix with a symbol:

    • access* (in this example, the search access* will search for records that contain strings such as accessible and accessibility)

Primary Sources

Something written by your author, such as a novel, poem, story, play, essay, memoir, or a collection of these.

Secondary Sources

Research and criticism about the primary sources, or about the author of the primary source.

Scholarly Articles and Books

  • top research appears in peer-reviewed journal articles, scholarly books, or individual book chapters
  • includes in-depth research, analysis, and criticism
  • may explore topics about a single work, or about a set of works, or an author’s works as a whole, or a particular literary theme

Reference Works 

  • sometimes called background sources, include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, or companion guides
  • usually background or introductory information on a topic or person

Scholarly Articles

  • Often referred to as academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed.
  • Written by experts in a particular field.
  • Keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research and findings. 

What is peer-review?

  • When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author's field. They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, they will reject its publication.

General Characteristics

  1. Author: Expert in the field
  2. Review: Reviewed by other experts (peers)
  3. Audience / Language: Written for scholars and students; uses academic language
  4. Content: Original research and criticism; uses previous research literature for background
  5. Citations: Always
Academic / Scholarly/ Peer- reviewed Popular / Trade
Author Expert in the field Journalist / Professional Writer
Review Reviewed by other experts (peers) Reviewed by an editor
Audience / Language Written for scholars and students; uses academic language Written for the general public or professionals; uses everyday language
Content Original research and criticism; uses previous research literature for background News and practical information; uses a variety of sources for background
Citations Always Sometimes, rarely, or never

Recognizing Journal Articles

What distinguishes a scholarly source from a popular, non-scholarly source?  Quickly skim the following sources.

Open Paragraphs Don't Always Have to Be Exciting: Non-Scholarly, Popular Source

“This Is Not Enough”: Gesturing Beyond the Aesthetics of Failure in Alice Munro’s “Material”: Scholarly Source (be sure to skim the Full Article via link provided)

Activity: Is It Scholarly?

To make sure we are all on the same page, let's put our knowledge to the test.

Skim the following resources available through the links keeping in mind the characteristics we have discussed in class (for example: what is this information and where did it come from? Was it written by an expert? Where is this source published?).

Vote whether you think this source is Scholarly or Not Scholarly.

Source 1

Scholarly: 20 votes (83.33%)
Not Scholarly: 4 votes (16.67%)
Total Votes: 24
Scholarly: 2 votes (11.11%)
Not Scholarly: 16 votes (88.89%)
Total Votes: 18
Scholarly: 3 votes (13.64%)
Not Scholarly: 19 votes (86.36%)
Total Votes: 22
Scholarly: 2 votes (9.52%)
Not Scholarly: 19 votes (90.48%)
Total Votes: 21
Scholarly: 18 votes (90%)
Not Scholarly: 2 votes (10%)
Total Votes: 20
Scholarly: 4 votes (20%)
Not Scholarly: 16 votes (80%)
Total Votes: 20
Scholarly: 17 votes (85%)
Not Scholarly: 3 votes (15%)
Total Votes: 20

How to Save this File to Google Drive:

  1. Open Google Drive - you can get here through MyMRU or you can also access through your own personal Gmail
  2. Right-click on My Drive
  3. Choose Upload a File (find your file on the computer)

Search #1 - Primary Sources

  1. Find two (2) primary sources i.e., titles of novels, plays, memoirs or collections written by the author you are researching. (HINT: Use the Resource Type filter in MRU LibrarySearch to filter for "Books." This may help you narrow your search to only primary sources by your author.)
  2. Add the citation for each primary source to the worksheet.

Search #2 - Encylopedias (Secondary Sources)

  1. Find two (2) encyclopedia entries about this author’s life and works. Possible databases to use: Oxford Reference, CREDO Reference, Gale Literature Resource Center. (HINT: To get to these databases, look for them on the A-Z database list on the MRU Library website.)
  2. Add the citation for each encyclopedia source to the worksheet


Note: Pay particular attention to whether your encyclopedia entries have an identified author or not as this will change how you make a reference for the source. Look at the examples in section B of the MLA guide on pages 15 and 16 for more guidance.

For example, this entry on David Foster Wallace in the Oxford Reference database does not have an identified author, so I would follow example B6 in the MLA guide:

“Wallace, David Foster (1962–2008).” The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature, edited by James D. Hart, Wendy Martin, and Danielle Hinrichs, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 2021. Oxford Reference Library,

Search #3 - Scholarly Articles (Secondary Sources)

  1. Find one (1) scholarly article from an academic journal that comments on one or more of the works of this author. (HINT: Use the Availability filter in MRU LibrarySearch to filter for "Peer-Reviewed." This may help you narrow your search to only scholarly article sources about your author.)
  2. Add the citation for the article to the worksheet.

MRU Resources Available for MLA

Key example references from the MRU MLA Library Guide

  1. A1: Book with one author
  2. B5: Article or definition in online encyclopedia, author known
  3. B6: Article or definition in online reference work, accessed via database, author unknown
  4. C1: Scholarly journal article, two authors, from a library database

(Remember to apply rules for multiple authors and for online versions).

Student Evaluation of Instruction

Please click on this link and sign into Blue (the evaluation platform) using your Mount Royal University credentials.

Choose this class (ENGL 0130 Literature and Composition-ENGL0130005) and fill out the evaluation of my instruction for this class.

This will take around 10 mins.

Thank-you so much! All of your feedback is appreciated and will be used to improve my instruction heading forward.

How do I find the information I need for my MLA citations?

This image highlights the common layout of publication information for a print book, as displayed in MRU's LibrarySearch results screens. For a book in hand, this information will usually be on the back (or verso) of the title page. 

Note that for ebooks, MLA also requires the titile of the database or second container.screen capture print book

The example below highlights the common layout of publication information for an encyclopedia entry. 
Note that different databases or containers may display information in different places, and also that often much more information is provided than is required for citation.

Screen capture of encyclopedia entry

Recognizing the various pieces of publication information required in a citation can be tricky, particularly with electronic sources. The example below highlights the common layout of publication information for a journal article. 
Note that different databases or containers may display information in different places.
screen capture of journal article



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