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ENGL 493 Research Guide: Home & Search Tips

Assembled resources for research of recent Shakespeare play performances and their reviews!

Shakespeare On Stage!


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Welcome to the Library Resource Guide supporting Dr. Rochelle Smith's ENGL 493 "Shakespeare Festival" class! This tabbed guide will help connect you to the FSU Ort Library's resources for researching Shakespeare play performances and their reviews.

Developing a Search Strategy for the Research Databases or the Library Catalog

When searching library resources for reviews of Shakespeare plays, it's good to have a strategy! Unlike Google or Internet search engines, the library databases and the catalog can't interpret natural language, sentence syntax, or strings of unconnected words. You should identify the key concepts in your thesis or research question and then brainstorm for a few alternative terms and synonyms that go along with them. Then you can connect and combine those terms using the Boolean operator AND or OR. Click here to see how Boolean operators work in database searches!

For example, what if you were researching the following:

I want to find performance reviews of Shakespeare's Othello.

The key concepts are obviously the underlined terms!

 It's good to have a few synonyms and related terms for your key concepts. They may also be helpful in your search!

performance reviews: Shakespeare's Othello
reviews, theater reviews, theatrical production, theater critics, reviews of plays, performing arts reviews, criticism, dramatic criticism, etc.
Othello, Shakespeare, English drama, play festivals, Shakespeare festivals, etc.

Now I can develop either a basic search statement:

 reviews AND Othello

Or a more advanced search statement, throwing in some related terms and synonyms:

("theater reviews" OR "theater critics") AND Othello

The library resources you interact with have additional features that allow you to limit and filter your search to publication date ranges (like within the last 10 years), academic sources, full-text accessibility, or even specific journals.

Subject Guide

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Sean Henry
Lewis J. Ort Library
Frostburg State University
Frostburg, MD 21532