Skip to Main Content

World Languages and Literatures Research Guide

Recommended Literary Databases

Finding Specific Information

Now that you have a focus, you can start exploring subject-specific resources. Many times a topic is not only covered in one subject or discipline. Going back to the topic of social media influencers with a focus on authenticity, you could find information in psychology, sociology, business, philosophy/ethics, health, or education.

While most WMU databases are searchable in Library Search, at this point in your research, it's best to use subject-specific databases to narrow your pool of sources. For lists of subject-specific databases for other disciplines, check out our other research guides.


Citation Mining

Citation Mining is a technique to find sources to understand the scope of the scholarly conversation around your focus. Once you find a source that is relevant to your work, look at the sources it cites or what sources it has been cited in. Some databases and search engines have this function built-in.

In Library Search

Use the arrows on Item Records to find sources cited in or cited by that source.

screenshot of article item record with sources cited by and in buttons

In Google Scholar

Click the link at the bottom of the search result.

Google Scholar cited by

Evolving Focus

Your research focus does not have to be static and unchanging. As you begin to collect more resources and see new themes and aspects, your focus will evolve.

Pokemon Evolution meme with your research focus

You may discover that your research focus does not have as much information available as you thought or that the connections you thought were there ended up being not as strong as you thought. When this happens, think back to aspects and themes. If you were using an aspect approach, try a theme approach and vice versa. This does not mean that you have to start all your research over. The work you have done has informed where you are now.


In addition to looking at the bibliographies, reference lists, endnotes, or works cited lists at the end of helpful sources you have found, you can find a curated bibliography for your topic. Oxford Bibliographies are a great place to find annotated lists of important or influential works. Each bibliography has a brief summary of certain aspects of a topic and each citation has an explanation of why it was included.

MLA International Bibliography is a searchable collection of citations by the Modern Language Association (the same organization that created MLA citation style). This database is not searchable in Library Search so you may find sources here that you have not seen before.


There are many different ways to keep track of your notes as you research. Check out this guide for suggestions and an example.


  • Once you know you're probably going to use a source, write down any citation information you will need and how to find it again
  • Keep track of what is a summary (main idea in your words), paraphrase (supporting info in your words), or quote (someone's exact words) along with where in the source you are referencing or found it (page number or direct links)

Citation Style Guides

Check out our Citing Sources Guide for helpful resources on how to cite your sources in APA, MLA, and Chicago formats. Purdue OWL and Excelsior College OWL also have helpful guides for each style with examples. Always check with your instructor on what style they want you to use and if there are any specific modifications they would like.

If you're still unsure of how to cite something, contact a librarian.


Check out our Using Zotero research guide

Zotero logo

Why use citation management software?

  • Export directly from Library Search, databases, Google Scholar, etc.
  • Enter citation information manually or edit what is automatically generated
  • Sort your citations and sources into folders and use tags
  • Use the built-in PDF reader to take notes directly on documents
  • Download the Microsoft Word plugin to create citations and bibliographies in your documents