Lindsey’s Amazing Epic Guide To Online Research in Literature, Film, and Media Studies

Books on Adaptation: Literature to Film

This is an incomplete bibliography, but it will be a good starting point for everyone. (Links are to Amazon, but you can also search for these in the CUNY libraries or the NYPL.) Look at the books cited within these books using Amazon; look at what other books cite these books using Google Scholar.

Strategic Searching

or, why simply Googling is a bad idea:

SPECIALIZED SEARCHING IS ONE WAY YOU MIGHT START. Rather than using Google and sifting through millions of results, let some sites already dedicated to inquiry do some of the heavy lifting for you.

How To Do It

Where To Do It

REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING: Determining your keywords is going to be the key to your searching success. Keep track of what keywords you use when you run a search. The more you read, however, the more keywords you can think of. So you might not want to begin with search engines. In which case, why not try…

Subject Guides

THIS IS ANOTHER PLACE YOU MIGHT START. Put together by research librarians, these are great collections. While to some degree they are institution-specific, many also include a curated selection of quality online resources available to everyone. Bonus: They are regularly updated! Many universities put these together; the ones listed here cover both our institutional resources and high-quality open online material.

CUNY Resources and Database Subscriptions

If you need something that Hunter doesn’t have but the Graduate Center does, Lindsey will get it for you; just shoot her an e-mail.

Syllabi Repositories and Online Courses

Chances are, if it’s a good resource, someone has used it in the classroom! Syllabi repositories and online courses can give us a good sense of what other professional researchers think is the most relevant material on any given topic. Look for both courses dedicated to your specific topic, and survey courses which may touch on your project more broadly.

Syllabi Repositories

Many academic departments now use their web sites to archive their syllabi; this list is a good starting point but it is not exhaustive. Look particularly for graduate courses, which may have more secondary sources listed in the syllabus.

Online Courses

Online Clubhouses

No one does quality research in a vacuum–and this is as much true for faculty as it is for students. Many academics were (for better or worse) early adopters of the listserv; the archives remain useful places to trace questions and get informal answers. Academic blogs are where some of the most forward-thinking researchers in any field are thinking out loud–both about their research topics of interest and providing meta-analysis about how to do quality research in the digital age. And finally, an embarrassing number of scholars are hanging out on Twitter.

Oldies but Goodies

These meta-sites curated the academic web beginning in the 1990s; not all of their links will be up-to-date, but they remain a good place to find quality online sources. This is particularly true if you are doing research on pre-WWII literary material, but even those working with more recent primary sources should have a look.

Bibliography and File Management

  • Zotero is amazing. Use it. With Zotero you can…
    • collect & organize material from across the web–all kinds of sources
    • incorporate bibliographic data about your print sources (via many of the sites in this blog post)
    • create a timeline of all of your sources so that you can SEE the progression of idea
    • track recent additions to see where the trends in your ideas are headed
    • attach pdfs and do a FULL PDF TEXT SEARCH
    • add notes that are searchable by keyword
    • tag your cites (just like a tag cloud)
    • share your lists as a group and build a bibliography together
    • share private or group lists with the public!
    • 12 Must-Know Zotero Tips
  • Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) is helpful not only for storage and online collaboration, but also features a built-in “Research Tool.” This should not take the place of other research efforts but can be a helpful add-on when you’re drafting.
  • The ITFs also highly recommend Scrivener, a project management tool for writing and creating; many of us are using it to organize our dissertations. If you are managing multiple writing projects or are thinking about graduate school, we think it is worth the financial investment.


These come to us courtesy amazing Lehman ITF Ben Miller.

About L. M. Freer

Lindsey is an English PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center, and serves as a senior ITF at Macaulay's 67th Street building. She studies late twentieth-century American poetics, and also enjoys exploring new and useful technological tools with Macaulay faculty and students. Her hobbies include landscape photography, fiber arts, and baking. She is not a morning person.

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