English and Literature

A general guide to research in English and Language Arts

What is MLA International Bibliography?

MLA International Bibliography is often considered the standard research database in literature, literary theory, and literary criticism.  The database covers literature, language and linguistics, folklore, film, literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts, as well as the historical aspects of printing and publishing. Listings on rhetoric and composition and the history, theory and practice of teaching language and literature are also included.

In addition to the bibliography, the database includes the MLA Directory of Periodicals, the association's thesaurus used to assign descriptors to each record in the bibliography. It also provides a searchable directory of noted authors' names with links to brief descriptive notes.

The database has some powerful tools to make your research easier and more precise. These are covered in the tutorials below.

Search Tips

This tutorial demonstrates how to make the most of your searches in the MLA Bibliography on EBSCO using the Advanced Search screen, the thesaurus’s Explode tool, wildcards, and truncation.

Understanding Results and Locating Full Text

This tutorial identifies the parts of a record in the MLA Bibliography on EBSCO and will explain how to use this information to locate the full text of the publication cited there.

Keyword Search vs. Subject Search

Learn the difference between a keyword search and a subject search in the EBSCO version of the MLA International Bibliography.

Researching Rhetoric and Composition

Learn about the variety of scholarly works published about rhetoric and composition indexed in the bibliography and how you can most effectively search for them.