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African American Literature

What is the MLA Bibliography?

The MLA International Bibliography is an essential tool for research in all aspects of modern languages and literature. 

Updated frequently throughout the year, the MLA Bibliography indexes more than 70,000 new items annually, enabling researchers to find citations for the latest scholarship as well as publications dating back to the 1880s.

MLA Tutorial

Understanding Results & Locating Full Text

Understanding the MLA International Bibliography: An Online Course

This online course was developed by the MLA to teach you how to use the MLA International Bibliography for college-level research.

Each of the five units in the course presents a lesson, followed by questions to reinforce the lesson through active engagement with the bibliography, and a quiz.  You will receive a badge upon passing each quiz and a course-completion badge after completing all the lessons and passing all five quizzes.

How to Search the MLA Bibliography

Using the MLA International Bibliography begins with a search. The bibliography offers many search options, which can be selected and combined to tailor the results to your specific needs.

These options include:

  • literary authors and their works (e.g., “Achebe, Chinua”; “Things Fall Apart”)
  • subject terms, including people, characters, places, periods, movements, and subject matter (e.g., “Wordsworth, William,” “Lake District,” “1700-1899,” “Romanticism,” and “landscape”)
  • titles of articles, books, and other scholarly works indexed in the bibliography
  • academic authors and their works (e.g., “Butler, Judith”; “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity”)
  • language of publication (e.g., “French language”)
  • date of publication (e.g., “2014,” “2005-2015”)
  • limit to peer-reviewed journal articles

Accessing Full-Text

Many of your results will include direct links to full text. These links will say PDF Full Text, HTML Full Text, or Linked Full Text.

Other results will include a link Check for Full Text @ Berry. For these, the degree of access to the full-text records will vary, depending on whether the library subscribes to the products containing the full text. You'll be taken to an intermediate screen that may have a link to View Full Text. That link may take you directly to the article or it may take you to a list of potential matches.

If Memorial Library doesn't subscribe to the journal you need, you can click on the Request Item Through Interlibrary Loan button and we'll get a copy for you (allow a few days!).