DSEM: Great [fictional] Villains

Tools for Researching Literature
  • MLA Bibliography
    Indexes scholarly materials in journals and essay collections on literature, film, drama and language, 1926 to present.
  • Literature Resource Center
    Author biographies, work overviews, literary criticism and bibliographies.
To Find Books
Go to the Drew Library Catalog
 and search "Hamlet" but pull down the search option for subjects:

Book records in the catalog will either show you the library floor and call number to find the book on, or a link to the book if it's an electronic book:

Not sure where to search? 
Try Scholar Search , which does a search across most of the articles and books the library owns, but is not as precise as MLA, or other databases.
Searching by subject
Looking for fictional villains?
You can try:
  • villains in literature
  • evil in literature
  • villains in fiction
  • fictional villains
Or just search by the name of your villain.

Not sure what subject heading to use in the library catalog ( librarycat.drew.edu )? Try the advanced search:
Advancded search screen

Then type in the term you want to search for. The Advanced search will bring up a list of subject headings with that word in them (and the number of books under that subject heading). Click on the links to see those books:
Advanced Search for subjects containing the word villain
Finding full text of articles
If you are searching in Scholar Search or MLA, you will see both books and articles.
Some articles will give you a direct link to the PDF or HTML or Linked full text; some items will be not in our collection and you'll be directed to request them through Interlibrary Loan; but for many, you'll need to click Find it @Drew to see whether it's available electronically:

When you click Find it @Drew you will be taken to a page that will offer you a list of links to the resource in our electronic journal holdings. (Sometimes we have a journal article via more than one database; that's why you see multiple links. Click one of the links to get to the full text:
Evaluating Your Sources
Before you use a source, you should check to see if it seems credible and relevant to your topic. Use the title, abstract, publication and author information to see if a source looks promising, then read the text carefully, considering whether it is appropriate for your paper.

For instance, when searching for sources for an academic paper, you're usually looking for:
  • Works by scholars or experts (authorities)-- for instance, for a literature paper, writers who are have advanced degrees in literature. 
  • Works that have been carefully vetted, for instance, in a peer reviewed journal (you can limit your search to 'peer reviewed/scholarly journals')
    • The type of publication the source appears in matters. Newspapers and Magazines are less likely to be accepted; scholarly books, however, are often acceptable. Reference books such as encyclopedias and dictionaries are generally used only to verify facts or background information. 
  • Works that are current with the scholarship in the field -- are they up to date, and factually, do they line up with other scholarly works on the topic? (As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, 'Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.')
  • Works that cite the sources where they got their own information: if there's no bibliography or references, view it with extreme suspicion.
  • Works that do analysis rather than expressing an opinion, and which are objective in their approach. ("Comparing the depiction of Loki in the Elder Eddas and in Marvel's Thor Series" would likely be an analysis; "Loki, the most misunderstood villain in the Avengers" is more likely to be an opinion.) Some book reviews may be scholarly, but even scholarly ones are also to be used sparingly and with care. 
  • And most importantly, works which are relevant to the topic you're working on. Even if it has all the right keywords and is scholarly, if the book or article has nothing to do with your topic, it's not going to help you. If it's an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association or Chemical and Engineering News on fictional villains, it's likely off-topic.
  • There are other factors to consider as well. 
It's up to you to decide whether a source is useful; but your professor and the librarians can help you.
Subject Specialist
Picture: Jenne Heise

Jenne Heise
Web Manager
Tel: 973-408- 3675

Book Search
Search Library Catalog: