Know how to research a contemporary poet?

A Guide for the undergraduate researcher

Doing your preliminary research... Can’t find secondary resources? Read on...

world's wifeThis scholarly guide:

Whilst substantial parts of this guide are generic and may help with any literary research, sections are specific to researching a contemporary poet and, at times, Carol Ann Duffy will be used as a model to demonstrate aspects of the research process. Mostly concentrating on information retrieval, the guide will provide a starting point for the new researcher who may have difficulty knowing where to begin looking for resources. Finding secondary information for a contemporary literary figure can be particularly challenging, because of the scarcity of readily available text books on a given writer. This guide aims to provide ideas on researching obscure places as well as the more obvious ones!

Tip Your preliminary research is important to assess whether there is enough information for you to apply to your project in a scholarly manner. ‘Preliminary Research’ page will help with this process.

Where to look...

Search Online:
The Library Catalogue - retrieves: Texts, Journals, e-books, e-journals.

The Year’s Work in English studies


The best place to start research

  1. Lists annual publications for English
  2. Evaluates every book listed
  3. Offers scholarly criticism per book
  4. Start with most recent copy
  5. Search back copies
  6. Look for your writer’s work
  7. Check for secondary material
  8. Find via the Library catalogue
  9. Available in e-format or hard copy