English Resources

Reference Desk

  • Dictionary.com - Collection of a dictionary, Roget's Thesaurus, Strunk's Elements of Style, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, & dictionaries in other languages
  • Oxford English Dictionary - Finally, this master of all dictionaries is online!
  • AskOxford.com - A wealth of information about words and language (their subtitle is "Passionate about language," which should tell us something)
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary - Simple online dictionary
  • Bartlett's Familiar Quotations - Passages, phrases, and proverbs traced to their sources
  • Dr. Grammar's Frequently Asked Questions - A helpful collection of commonly confused points of grammar, such as lie vs. lay, among vs. between, i before e except after c, why "I" is capitalized, and many other points of trivia for the grammatically curious
  • Handbook of Rhetorical Devices - A collection of rhetorical devices, including "those involving emphasis, association, clarification, and focus; those involving physical organization, transition, and disposition or arrangement; and those involving decoration and variety"

Research Aids

  • The Bedford Research Room - Collection of resources drawn from Mike Palmquist's The Bedford Researcher to support students in courses across the disciplines and offer instructors a library of helpful instructional tools

Citing Resources

Plagiarism, Copyright, & Fair Use Resources

  • UW Colleges' Policy on Plagiarism - Chapter UWS 14: Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures
  • Paraphrasing & Not Plagiarizing - Purdue's resource is a concise, valuable review of how to appropriately and correctly paraphrase others' words and ideas by putting them in your own words, rather than plagiarizing. The "Some examples to compare" is particularly useful.
  • The Copyright Website - This site offers information on internet copyright, infringement, registration, and fair use
  • Plagiarism: Curricular Materials for History Instructors - The American Historical Association's "survey of pedagogical strategies designed to offer wise counsel to teachers seeking to help students understand and avoid plagiarism," strategies that are relevant to our courses as well.

Literary Research, Theory, and Context

  • MLA International Bibliography Online - Comprehensive bibliography of language and literary studies (If this link doesn't work for you, check with your library's databases because all UW Colleges' libraries subscribe.)
  • LitFinder - LitFinder is international in scope, covers all time periods, and contains a wealth of primary literature content, including more than 126,500 full-text poems, 850,000 poem citations and excerpts, 5,000 full-text short stories, 2,800 full-text essays, 1,800 full-text speeches, and 1,000 full-text plays. LitFinder also includes biographies, work summaries, photographs, and a glossary. A subject navigator provides over 10,000 subject headings, and basic and advanced search modes allow users to search by keyword, author, subject, work title, work date, nationality, gender, timeline, and more.
  • Library of Congress - Massive database for research
  • Literary Resources On the Net - Jack Lynch's easy-to-use collection of literary links; a good place to start if you're looking for an author not listed below
  • Internet Movie Database - For those incorporating film into literature classes, here is a vast database with general info, reviews, plot summaries, and trivia on movies, actors, directors, anything about movies
  • LION (Literature Online) - Chadwyck-Healey's literary databases include English Poetry Full-text Database, Database of African American Poetry 1760-1900, Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary, et al
  • Womanist Theory and Research - Archive of The Womanist, as well as links to multicultural, womanist/feminist, women of color, African-American sites
  • Columbia University's Bartleby Library - Writings excavated from the Dead Letter Office, such as Frost, Melville, Keats, J.S.Mill, A.E.Housman, G.M.Hopkins, Paine, Sandburg, Shelley, Stein, Mary Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Yeats, Eliot, DuBois, et al
  • Electronic Text Center - University of Virginia's E-Text Center archives English Language Resources, Modern English, Middle English, Old English, English Poetry, English Verse Drama, African American Poetry, Old Newspapers, Shakespeare, et al

Specific Authors or Subjects

Online Guides, Handouts and Syllabi


The list below is a work-in-progress of links with brief notes that I give to students who may be interested in browsing online literary journals to read contemporary poems, stories, non-fiction, and reviews. Readers can also gain insight into the processes of literary publishing by browsing submission guidelines, contributor's bios, editor's notes, mission statements. There are so many sites, it's hard to know what to include - I'd be happy to get ideas for more links or see others add lists of their own, especially with more print-based journals. Some of the sites below have extensive "links" pages of their own where we can find many more literary journals and resources. -- Joel Friederich, UW-Barron County

Online and Print

  • Ploughshares - a highly respected literary journal published at Emerson College in Boston. Ploughshares is a print journal, not a web-based e-zine.  Their website offers a large selection of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from the current edition as well as from archived editions, and an editor’s introduction to each issue that can give insight into literary/aesthetic values and vision. Ploughshares chooses a well-known poetry or fiction writer as guest editor for each issue, to bring an individual perspective to each new edition. From the home page, click the cover of the current edition to get to a table of contents, and then click on any title in blue to read samples.
  • The Gettysburg Review is another major literary journal in the U.S., published at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. The writing samples available online are a selection of poems and short stories from the current issue.

Online Only

  • Blackbird is a literary e-zine from Virginia Commonwealth University, filled with both emerging and well-established writers. Click the bird on the opening page to enter.
  • Drunken Boat: A literary e-zine on the experimental side, with interesting multi-media art as well as poetry and a variety of prose.
  • 2RiverView: A great quarterly e-zine out of St. Louis, featuring 10 poets each season and one artist.
  • No Tell Motel: An e-zine, all poetry, featuring one poet at a time on the main page.
  • Three Candles: A literary e-zine from the Twin Cities featuring poetry, short stories, book reviews, links and resources for writers. Three Candles also has a press (at the same site) publishing poetry collections.
  • 42nd Opus: Fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.  Some “non-contemporary” authors (Emily Dickinson...) are brought together with new writing.  New works are posted every few days.
  • Mudlark: poetry.
  • Six Bricks - A very interesting e-zine dedicated to publishing “six little things” in each edition. The site leaves it up to the reader to decide whether the six pieces in each edition are poems, very short stories, prose poems, tiny essays--they are just six little things by six authors. Also, features a photo.