Welcome to the training page for Prelims Paper 1. This is Part 1: Finding Texts.
On the left column you'll find links to all the key resources. As you read through you will see there are opportunities to watch short videos, these are screen captures so you can see a quick demonstration of the resource in action. At the bottom of the page you'll see exercises to work on to try the resources out for yourself, and the link for Part 2: Text Analysis.
Once you have worked through the details on the right, do the two demos listed for Literature Online which are at the bottom of the page, this will help you get used to the two main ways of using the site and its basic functions.
There are four other exercises available which will take you through step-by-step using some of the key resources:
If you know the name of the resource you're looking for,the first place you should go is SOLO. As with any online resource, we recommend you always use the advanced search option, as this will give you more flexibility.
Follow these steps:
If you aren't looking for a specific item, but instead want to browse all the online databases that we have access to, you should go to Databases A-Z.
You can browse by subject specific resources, but don't forget to also look at other subjects that may cross over, such as History or Women's Studies. On Databases A-Z you will find some Author Specific Resources.
If you’re interested in looking at the works of a particular author, go to the main page of the OED and you’ll see the sources area. If an author has been particularly innovative with language they will be listed here, for example, it may show evidence of an author providing the first evidence of a particular word. For example, Virginia Woolf has 8 instances of the first use of a word, 42 of the first use of a particular meaning.
Some databases collect together primary works by period, such as Early English Books Online (EEBO) or Eighteenth Century Collection Online (ECCO) – they have scanned page images of virtually everything published in that time period.
If you’re interested in the language of gender we would recommend the following resources:
Also, remember that some resources allow you to search for texts by a specific gender of the author – like Literature Online, which you'll find more details on below.
If you're interested in language of the media there are over 70 different newspaper subscriptions on SOLO. These include historical collections as well as current content. Databases include:
For the most up-to date current newspapers look at Nexis UK, which is updated daily.
You can links to more Newspaper resources on the Prelims Paper 1 Newspapers & Ephemera Tab.
This is freely available online and spans the period from the mid-1800s to the present day. You will need to register to view larger images and save picture searches. The archive covers:
A Quick Start guide is available at: http://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/en/pages/quick-start.html
This collection provides access to thousands of items selected from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, offering unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Categories include Nineteenth-Century Entertainment; the Booktrade; Popular Prints; Crimes, Murders and Executions; and Advertising.
There are many avenues you can explore in the collection, but as an example, you could look at representations of female murderers in the press. Using a database like Nexis UK you could find a modern report, and compare it to a 19th Century report.
Literature Online is a key resource for finding primary resources and criticism. It offers the full text of more than 350,000 works of poetry, drama and prose from the eighth century to the present day as well as articles from over 430 scholarly journals.
Here are two searches for you to try yourself.
First, search for a specific author.
Second task will be looking for all instances of a word. This is something Literature Online does really well, it will allow you to search across all the texts on the site for specific instances of a word appearing.
Once you've worked through the material above, don't forget to check out the exercises - they're at the bottom of the left column - they'll give you a step by step guide to some of the key resources.
Next, move on to Part 2 of this training session to find out what to to with the texts once you've found them.