Searching MLA International Bibliography


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In this tutorial, you will learn how to find literary criticism and analysis on a topic, specific work, or an author using the MLA International Bibliography Online

The database is produced by the Modern Languages Association (MLA).

Using the page to your right, select MLA International Bibliography.

You  may be prompted to enter your UA NetID and password.

You are now in the MLA International Bibliography.

Use the arrows below to navigate through the tutorial.

Search by Topic

Type digital technology in the first search box, and select the Search button.

The results screen should present more than 1,500 results.

To narrow this topic, add the word fiction in the second search box and select the Search button.

This will narrow the results to more than 50 results. 

In the left hand frame, you can select one or more options to limit your results. Select the following check boxes: Full Text, Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals, and Exclude Dissertations.

This action will focus your search to scholarly articles that are available online in full-text. 

Retrieve Articles from the Search Results

From the result list, select the title link for this article: "From Work to Conversation: Writing and Citizenship in a Global Age"

Next, in the left frame, select Linked Full Text.

This will take you directly to the article on the publisher's site (MLA).

To access the full-text article, select the PDF link below the statement You have access to the full-text PDF.

Go Back to the Search Screen

Select the green Clear button to remove the current search words.

Search by Author

1 of 5Let's try searching for scholarly articles about Mark Twain's use of sports and games in his fiction.

To search by author, an effective strategy is to use the way that author's name is indexed in the database.

To determine the form of the name used for Mark Twain, select the blue tab Names as Subjects tab at the top of the screen.

In this case, you are looking for articles about Mark Twain's fiction, so you would use the author's name as a subject term, not as an author.

In the search box, type the name in inverted form: 

Twain, Mark

Next, select Relevancy Ranked and then select the Browse button.

Note the entry:

     Twain, Mark  Use Clemens, Samuel

Check the box to the left of the entry, and select the Search button.

Search by Author

2 of 5The second part of your search is to find scholarly articles about Twain's use of games and sports in his fiction.

What search words would you use?

Search by Author

3 of 5The following list are suggested search words:
  • games
  • sports
  • cards
  • gambling
  • contest
  • (add your own)

Enter these search words in the second search box, using OR between each term and enclosing the words in parentheses: (games OR  sports OR cards OR gambling OR contest)

Select the Search button.

Search by Author

4 of 5From the results list, select the following title: 

"Mark Twain, Westward Expansion, Immigrant Unrest: Baseball and American Growing Pains in Darryl Brock's If I Never Get Back"

Determine if the article is available online. 

  • Note the journal name, date, volume, issue, and page numbers in the Source field:

Nine: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture 2000 Fall-2001 Spring; 9 (1-2): 83-91.

  • In the left frame, select the Get Full Text or Document Delivery link: 
Get Full Text or Document Delivery link

Search by Author

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This option leads you to the General OneFile database, with no results for locating the full-text document.

When a link leads to a dead-end, a good strategy is to go back to the original record and try another option.

In this case, in the left frame, select the link:
Search the UA Library Catalog

You are presented with a catalog record for the journal Nine: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture.

From the information given for full-text access to the journal, Nine, is this article available online?

Search by Title of a Work

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In this search example, you will be searching for articles about Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

First, select the Clear button at the top of the screen, to begin a new search.

In the first search box, type Connecticut yankee in king arthur's court

To specify that you are looking for articles about this particular work, use the drop-down menu to the right of the search box and select the field SK Primary Subject Work. Select the Search button.

Your search results should be more than 100 references.

There are several ways to refine your search, as shown in the left frame. Under Source Types, check the box next to Academic Journals

Search by Title of a Work

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From the results list, select the following article: "Hank Morgan in the Movies: Adaptations of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"

Note that the title of the work, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), is listed in the fields titled General Subject Areas - Primary Subject Work and Subject Terms.

Clemens, Samuel is listed in the field titled General Subject Areas - Primary Subject Author.

This may not be the vocabulary that you would use, but it is the language that the MLA International Bibliography uses to consistently tag authors and their works.

Article Citation

Some databases provide a citation to the article in various citation styles.

To view the MLA citation for this journal article, in the right-hand frame, select Cite.

Scroll down and locate the MLA citation format. You can then copy and paste this citation into the Works Cited portion of your paper. 

NOTE: It's very important to double-check each citation to make sure it has been formatted correctly. Details such as capitalization, punctuation, italicization, or date order may be incorrect.

Request an Article through Interlibrary Loan

To locate a copy of the article, in the left frame, select Get Full Text or Document Delivery.

This will take you to a page with the message that this article is not available online.

Select the link that says Request from Main Library. This will take you to the NetId log-in screen.

Once you have entered this information, you will automatically be presented with the article request form with the pertinent information already entered.

To receive a digital copy of this article, go to the bottom of the screen and select the Submit Request button.



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Take the following 5 question quiz to test your understanding of the MLA International Bibliography.


1.  The MLA International Bibliography is a database of


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2.  To determine the form of a name that is indexed in the MLA Database, which of the following features should you use?


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3.  Which of the following topics would not be covered in the MLA Bibliography?


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4.  You want to locate information about the roles of women in Mark Twain's works.  Which of the following would yield the best results (relevance, numbers)?


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5.  What is the most effective technique to locate scholarly information about the novel,  Song of Solomon?

literary criticism and  theory
literatures of the world
aspects of linguistics and languages
dramatic arts
history of printing and publishing


Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


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