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Last Updated: Nov 20, 2017 URL: http://guides.central.edu/literature Print Guide RSS Updates

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Printable Guides to Theater Reviews

These PDF documents outline the steps for limiting your search results to reviews of theatrical performances. Screenshots are included to illustrate soem of the best practices for setting up these searches.

These guides may be downloaded and saved to your computer, flash drive, etc., or you may print them out if you prefer.

 

Locating Book Reviews

The same sources you use to search for journal articles and literary criticism are helpful when you need to find book reviews. For academic purposes, you usually want to use reviews from scholarly sources, not from publisher websites or from Amazon.com.

To find book reviews, search the following databases, using the advanced search screen.

MLA International Bibliography: Enter the book's title in the Keyword field. Then enter the word "review" on another line and select "Subject (su) from the drop-down menu.

Academic OneFileEnter the book's title in the Keyword field. Then enter the word "review" on another line and select "Subject (su) from the drop-down menu.

JSTOR: Select "Review" under "Item Type" and search on the book title and/or author's name to find book reviews.  JSTOR will be very helpful for finding reviews of books which were published before 1995.

If you are having trouble finding books or book reviews, please come see a librarian!

  


 

Searching Library Databases for Theater Reviews

Some of the same databases you use for your other literary research can also help you locate reviews of theater productions or performances. Just follow the simple steps below to limit your search appropriately.

In all cases, start on the Advanced Search page.

  • Use U.S. Newstream to search for full-text reviews in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and other major national papers.
    1. In the Advanced Search, enter the name of the paper you want on the first line and select "Publication" from the drop down menu to limit your search to a specific publication.
    2. Then add the play title or keyword to the second line.
    3. Scroll down for the Document Type menu and select "Review".
  • MLA International Bibliography is an excellent source, particularly for reviews of foreign theater.
    1. Make sure you are in the Advanced Search tab.
    2. Enter the name of the play in the search box. You can use either the Keyword or Name of Work line here.
    3. Enter the term "theatrical" or "theatrical production" in the second search box. Select "Subject (su)" from the drop down menu at the left.
    4. Set any other optional limiters you may want, such as language or a date range and click the Search button.
  • Literature Resource Center can be a good source for reviews as well as other materials for literary research. It contains the notable publication Shakespeare Bulletin (2004-9). 
    1. Make sure you are in the Advanced Search tab.
    2. Enter the name of the play in the search box. You can use either the Keyword or Name of Work line here.
    3. Locate the "Limit results -- By document type" menu about halfway down the page. Select "Theater review".
    4. Set any other optional limiters you may want, such as language, peer-reviewed journals only, or a date range.
    5. Click the Search button - it's that easy.
  • JSTOR includes the notable publication Shakespeare Quarterly.
    1. Enter the name of the play in the search box. Add the word "performance" after the play's title.
    2. Select "Subject Headings" from the "All Fields" drop down menu to the right of the search box.
    3. Locate the "Include JSTOR back issues" checkbox in the "Type of Content" menu furthe rdown the page (on the left side) and check it.
    4. Ironically, you do not need to check the "Reviews only" checkbox under Type of Content. You can if you want to, but you might end up with fewer results that way.
    5. That's all you need to do - now just click the Search button.

 

Searching Newspapers for Theater Reviews

Use U.S. Newsstream to search for full-text reviews in The New York Times, The Los Angele Times, and other major national papers. In the Advanced Search, you can enter the name of the paper you want on the first line and select "Publication" from the drop down menu to limit your search to a specific publication. Then add the play title or keyword to teh second line. Scroll down for the Document Type menu and select "Review".

You can search for reviews of current productions in local, regional, national, and international newspapers with EBSCOhost's Newspaper Source Plus.  Remember to include key words like "theater," "theatre," "play," and "review" to narrow your results.

Finding Reviews from a Citation

Once you've found an article citation in an index, you'll need to check the Geisler Journal List to see if Geisler Library subscribes to the journal, magazine or newspaper or if we have electronic access to the journal in which your article will be found. If we own the publication, track it down alphabetically on the periodical shelves. (Remember the most recent months will be found on the Current Shelves or in the Reading Room.)

If we don't subscribe to the publication you need, we can get the article for you via a free service called Inter-Library Loan (ILL). You need to get a form from the reference or circulation desk, fill it out as completely as possible, and then turn it in again at the reference desk. Normally it takes a week to two weeks to for the library to receive items ordered through ILL.

      


     

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