How do library databases help with essays?

In my English class we're writing essays over Heart of Darkness, and our teacher has us going on library databases and looking up different resources. How exactly are these supposed to help me? They all just seem to be articles giving different opinions about the book and I don't know what to do with that information. Thanks in advance!

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One Response to “How do library databases help with essays?”

  1. fayette says:

    Many (not all) research databases are indeed indexes of journal articles. These articles might be written in general magazines or in the specialized magazines (also called periodicals or journals) of many different subject areas–literature, physics, business, education, music, etc. Your teacher wants you to find out what other people in the field of literature have said about the book. Your paper should demonstrate that you have read some of these articles and have evaluated (not necessarily agreed with) their points of view. You are learning to consider the evidence and judge the opinions of others in the field of literature.