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Monmouth College Hewes Library

Searching MLA Bibliography (database)

What is MLA: Modern Language Association Database?

MLA: Modern Language Association Database

Specifically, the MLA Bibliography helps you discover:

  • scholarly criticism in journal articles (citation only)
  • scholarly criticism in book chapters (citation only)
  • criticism in the areas of literary theory, literary criticism, folklore, linguistics, drama, rhetoric, and composition
  • criticism published from the 1920s to the present


Search Features

  • Basic search locates keywords in several fields of the database and can be very comprehensive, however, if the results are too overwhelming, consider an Advanced search
  • Advanced search allows focus on specific fields (like author of work, title of work) and can retrieve more relevant results. 
    • For example, if you are focusing on a specific literary work or author, use the Advanced Search to select Primary Subject Work or Primary Subject Author for more accurate results.  
      • e.g. Primary Subject Work = "Midnight's Children"        
      • e.g. Primary Subject Author = Rushdie
  • The MLA Thesaurus is an invaluable tool to discover words related to your topic. Find the Thesaurus link at the top of the search screen as pictured below. The video at right, "Keyword Search vs. Subject Search," will help in deciphering use of the Thesaurus and clarify the differences in these two types of searches.

MLA thesaurus link




MLA Search Tips (video)

Search Tips and Tutorials

Introduction to MLA Bibliography

Keyword Search vs. Subject Search in the MLA International Bibliography from MLA International Bibliography on Vimeo.

Search Tips for the MLA International Bibliography from MLA International Bibliography on Vimeo.

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