English Language and Literature

This guide is intended to provide you with information on books, journals, databases, and other resources that will help you complete coursework and research in English Langauge and Literature. If you need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words, past and present, from across the English-speaking world.

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms
You can browse this dictionary by the alphabetical index, or you can enter your search term in the search box.

Key Concepts in Literary Theory, by Julian Wolfreys, Ruth Robbins and Kenneth Womack.

PN81 .E435 2011
The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, ed. by Michael Ryan.

A New Handbook of Literary Terms, by David Mikics.

PN81 .J554 2005
Groden, Michael, Kreiswirth, Martin, and Imre Szeman, eds. The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism. 2nd Ed. Johns Hopkins Univ., 2005.


A comprehensive readers' advisory resource for fiction and nonfiction that will help you to decide: What should I read next? Brought to you by the Library of Michigan via the Michigan eLibrary (https://mel.org).

A collection of full-text poetry and short stories, ranging in period from antiquity to the present, as well as biographies and authoritative essays on such topics as poetic forms, movements and techniques. Brought to you by the Library of Michigan via the Michigan eLibrary (https://mel.org).

NMU Archives
The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives houses the historical records of Northern Michigan University and historical materials documenting the history of the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

An index to plays found in collections, anthologies and periodicals. Helpful when you can't find a play in the library catalog. The index is developed at Portland State University so NMU might not own all of the sources. Check the library catalog or stop at the public services desk for assistance in locating a source.

Victorian Women Writers Project 
A digital library of writings by Victorian women.

Wright American Fiction 
A digital library of American fiction listed in Lyle Wright's bibliography American Fiction, 1851-1875. Particularly useful for popular fiction of the period.

Hathi Trust Digital Library
Scanned volumes published before 1925.

Internet Archive
Full-text and scans of many works published before 1925.

The following are some books recently added to our collection that might be of interest. You can find additional monographis through OneSearch. 

Caden, Michael, Karen Coats, and Roberta Sellinger Trites. Teaching young adult literature. MLA. PN1008.8 T43 2020

Deshaye, Joel. The American West in Canadian Literature. University of Calgary Press. PS8191.W4 D47 2022

Mellette, Justin. Peculiar Whiteness: racial anxiety and poor Whites in Southern literature, 1900-1965. University of Mississippi Press. PS261.M242 2021

Miller, Greg and Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise. Edward and George Herbert in the European Republic of Letters. Manchester University Press. PR3508.E7 2022

Murphy, Gretchen. New England women writers, secularity, and the federalist politics of church and state. Oxford University Press. PS166.M87 2021

Page, Judith and Elise Lawton Smith. Women, literature, and the arts of the countryside in early twentieth-century England. Cambridge University Press. PR116.P34 2021

Rohy, Valerie. Chances Are: Contingency, queer theory, and American Literature. Routledge. PS169.H65 R64 2020

Sjunneson, Elsa. Being Seen: One Deafblind Woman's Fight to End Ableism. Simon & Schuster. HV1792.S54 A3 2021 (2023 Diversity Common Reader Book)

Warburton, Theresa. Other worlds here: honoring Native women's writing in contemporary anarchist movements. Northwestern University Press. PS153.I52 W365 2021

Below is a selection of journals to which the library subscribes which may be of interest. More journals can be located via OneSearch. 

English Language Notes

Feminist Studies

Film Quarterly

Literacy Research and Instruction

Nineteenth Century Literature

Passages North

PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association

Western American Literature




Useful Library Databases

A multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 7,300 full-text, peer-reviewed journals. This database also offers indexing and abstracts for more than 12,500 journals and other publications. Brought to you by the Library of Michigan via the Michigan eLibrary (https://mel.org).

ACLS Humanities ebook Collection
A collection of high-quality full-text books in the humanities and social sciences. Over 4,300 titles and growing annually. 1900 to present.

Offers differing views on the latest social topics, from capital punishment to immigration, to marijuana. Includes statistics and a wide variety of multimedia files (audio, video, images) on each topic.

Humanities Source
Includes full text for more than 1,400 journals, with citations to over 3.5 million articles, including book reviews. Brought to you by the Library of Michigan via the Michigan eLibrary (https://mel.org).

Poetry & Short Story Reference Center
A collection of full-text poetry and short stories, ranging in period from antiquity to the present, as well as biographies and authoritative essays on such topics as poetic forms, movements and techniques. Brought to you by the Library of Michigan via the Michigan eLibrary (https://mel.org).

Project Muse ebooks
Launched on Project MUSE in January 2012, provides access to thousands of high-quality ebooks in the humanities and social sciences from major university presses and scholarly publishers.


MLA Style

Some people think only of citations when they think of style, but style encompasses many things. The Modern Language Association Handbook, 8th edition, will give you complete information on MLA Style. It's available in print in the circulating collection, call number LB2369 .G53 2016.

For electronically-available information about MLA Style, consult the MLA website. It doesn't have as much information as the printed guide, but has a useful practice module.



(Revised 12/20/2020)

Zotero is a free research manager which helps you collect, organize, and manage your sources. This application works with Google Chrome, FireFox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, & Safari web browsers, and integrates with word processing programs such as MS Word & Google Docs. Zotero facilitates quick in-text citing, and one-click generation of references according to a multitude of styles including APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, & journal-specific.

Creating an account on Zotero's website allows you to sync your collections to a central point (300MB free) from multiple computers (such as work & home). It also allows you to create groups. 

Minimum operating system requirements for Zotero version 5.x:

macOS 10.11 or later, including Big Sur and Monterey
Windows 7 or later

More detailed system requirements available here: https://www.zotero.org/support/system_requirements

The following steps will walk you through how to install Zotero on your browser.

Save documents & close all programs other than web browser before proceeding. This includes your word processor software.

Rationale: In order to finish the installation, Zotero may need to reboot your computer.

Rationale: The Zotero Connector which allows downloading information from the browser into
Zotero only works with these versions of the browser:

Chrome: Version 55 or higher
FireFox: Version 52 or higher
Safari 10–12 (see Safari Compatibility for Safari 13)


Once you have opened Firefox, you need to check that it is version 52 or higher. To do this, go to 
the menu heading "Help", and select "About Firefox" (see screen shot below). If it says you have a 
lower-numbered version, Mozilla will automatically download & install the latest version of FireFox.


Image showing the "about firefox "button

Google Chrome
Once you have opened Chrome, you need to check that it is version 55 or higher. To do this,
go to the upper-right corner and click on three dots (see screen shot below), highlight "Help", and select 
"About Google Chrome". If it says you have a lower-numbered version, Google will automatically 
download & install the latest version of Chrome.


Image showing the "about google chrome" menu option in google chrome.

Once you have the latest version of your browser, open it, download Zotero and install the program. The 
download interface automatically recognizes your specific browser and operating system and provides 
the appropriate choice.

If you receive a message preventing this site (www.zotero.org) from installing software on your computer, 
click on the Allow button.

Proceed through the Setup Wizard. When asked about Setup Type (screen below), we recommend choosing Standard. You will be able to customize it later.

Image showing the setup type option on the zotero installer dialogue.


Once installed you will be prompted to Reboot your computer (see below). 

Picture showing the reboot option screen of the zotero installer

After you click on Finish, your computer will reboot.

Open your browser & go to the Download page to install the Connector. The download interface 
automatically recognizes your specific browser and operating system, and provides the 
appropriate choice.


image of a page linking the zotero connection for google chrome download.

This plugin allows you to create a bibliography, in-text citations, and footnotes or endnotes from within word processing software. 

Note that Zotero version 5.x automatically installs the plugin for Microsoft Word.

Open Microsoft Word, and click on the Zotero tab to display tools:

image showing Zotero's Microsoft word toolbar plugin.

Using Google Docs? No plugin required. Click here for Zotero support documentation.

Using LibreOffice? Click here for plugin.

You do not need to register your Zotero account but you may want to do this at a later date as there are a
number of advantages including the ability to sync your citations to the Zotero site, allowing you to 
access them from any computer at any time.

Modified 2/25/2021

Zotero is a free Web application developed for Firefox, Chrome, & Safari web browsers that allows you to quickly cite in-text and format references in a multitude of styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.). Zotero allows you to collect, manage, cite, and share references you've collected for your research.

This guide will walk you through modifying the Preferences tabs screens to configure Zotero.

Important: This guide is intended for users who have just installed Zotero for the first time.

If you already have entries loaded into a past Zotero installation, we recommend you backup your Zotero folder before proceeding, and then after completing customizing, copy your old Zotero folder to a new location on either the Desktop or in Documents.

Please connect to the Internet while configuring Zotero.

If you have not yet downloaded and installed Zotero, please see the Library's Installing Zotero guide for directions with screen shots.

Please Skip this step if your Zotero already contains entries!


You need to decide where to save your Zotero files & retrieved articles. We highly recommend saving to either Documents, or to the Desktop (makes it much easier when migrating to a new computer or quickly backing up), so the first step is to create a New folder in that place & name it: Zotero To access the Preferences settings, open Zotero, then click on the Edit menu choice, and select Preferences:

Zotero pereferences page

Advanced tab -- Files and Folders sub-tab

Under Data Directory Location, click on the Choose button and select the newly-created Zotero folder which appears on your Desktop.

Zotero directory selection image


Zotero will add the information to the screen similar to above, but with your username.

You will be prompted that it must re-start Zotero.

Modify OpenURL Custom Resolver:

Replace: http://worldcatlibraries.org/registry/gateway

With: https://nmu.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/search?vid=01NOMICH_INST:NMU&lang=en&mode=advanced

[either copy & paste, or right-click & Copy link address & paste]

OPENurl for Zotero


On the General tab you may adjust the User Interface Layout, Font size, & Note font size (recommendations below).

A new feature in Version 5.0 is selecting the Layout (red outline below):

Standard Layout displays a selected entry on the right side of the list of items.

Stacked Layout displays a selected entry underneath the list of items.

All boxes are checked by default.

New to version 5.0.36 are changes to indexing PDFs, which is now automatic--no separate installer needed.

Zotero layout options


Only use if you plan on creating an account & using storage on Zotero server for yourself or group work.

Sync is also beneficial if you are using multiple computers (e.g., work & home) to manage sources.

Enter the username & password used when you created account on Zotero web site.

Note that Sync does not replace making regular backups of your local Zotero files, and cannot be used to restore your Zotero files if your hard drive is damaged or requires re-imaging

Image of sync option

PDF Indexing is a feature which allows you to drag-and-drop previously downloaded pdf files into Zotero, and then have it search for metadata on that file & create an entry for you.

As Zotero facilitates creating your own "library" of sources, enabling PDF Indexing will include those sources when searching within Zotero.

Beginning with Zotero version 5.0.36, this screen shows indexing statistics.

This is another area where you should set the Default style you will use. Note that you may always change the default. Under the Default Output Format, click on the drop arrow to change style.

Image of zotero default format preferences


There are over 9,000 citation styles available for Zotero including many styles based on individual journal titles. Zotero only comes configured with the more popular styles but you may add any of the other styles while inside of Zotero.

After clicking on the Cite tab, click on the Styles sub-tab.

Next, locate the style from the list & click on it to select.If you do not see your specific style, click on the Get additional styles... link (see screen shot below) which will open the Zotero Style Repository, and search for your style. Left-click on the style name to select, which will then load that template into Zotero.

Zotero get additional styles button

Citation Options - Real important especially for APA, MLA, & Chicago styles

Check the box next to the label: Include URLs of paper articles in references.

 Zotero include URLs in citation

It is highly recommended using the classic insert citation interface. So on the Word Processors sub-tab, 
check the box next to the label: Use classic Add Citation dialog

image of word processors options in Zotero

Important: You MUST click the OK button to save all changes.

You are now ready to use Zotero.

As with most things, Zotero is not perfect. Always check your citations for accuracy. Zotero will not correct data or capitalized titles for instance. Be sure to check the data for each citation. You can always edit the citations in Zotero.

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