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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

FSEM 100S4: Contemporary Female Playwrights: Home

My presentation to your class

Here are the PowerPoint slides for my presentation to your class. Click in the lower right corner to expand the slides to full screen.


Advice for your course

The presentation and the final paper

You have two research projects in this class: a presentation and a final paper. Since your two projects will probably be about the same playwright, it may be helpful to think of them as one project with two pieces. I recommend creating one folder in which you can save all the sources that you find -- either a collection in Zotero, or else a regular folder on your computer.


Learn the basics of a topic by reading overviews (also called "tertiary sources"). You can find overviews on the internet, on sites such as Wikipedia. You can also use encyclopedias in the Reference section of Simpson Library. I recommend an encyclopedia called Contemporary Film, Theatre, and Television:



You can use Quest to search all subjects, or use individual databases to search specific subjects (such as theatre or history or literature). Out of the 200+ databases that UMW subscribes to, these are the most useful databases for this class:

Locating books on the shelves

When you find a physical book in Quest, write down its call number, and then go to the shelves.

Books are shelved according to the Library of Congress Classification System. In this system, the library is divided into twenty-one broad subject areas, each of which is assigned one letter of the alphabet.

To use call numbers, read them from the top down.

A label on the spine of a book, displaying the call number PR 8875 .P46 1999

For example, here's how you'd find this book:

  • First, follow the alphabet to the PR section of the library.
  • Next, within the PR section, look in numerical order for 8875.
  • Next, within the books numbered 8875, look in alphabetical and numerical order for .P46.
  • (1999 is the year the book was published.)


The main collection of books is shelved in the Stacks on the second and third floors. Other collections include the Reference collection, the DVD collection, and the Juvenile/Young Adult collection, all on the first floor.

Reference Librarian

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Peter Catlin

Other guides

Advice and recommendations for FSEMs in general, and for Theatre and Dance research.

The Citing Resources guide gives you examples of perfectly-formatted citations. Zotero is a free app that keeps track of the sources you've found, and generates citations without any typing.


Use Quest to search the library's physical collection and the contents of most of the library's electronic databases.

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Search articles, books, and more...


There are many different citation styles. The library provides online guides to the most common styles. For this class, Professor Brewer wants you to use MLA style.

Here is the library's guide to MLA style. 

You can use software to generate citations automatically. We recommend a free app called Zotero. Please note: Automatically-generated citations can contain errors, so proofread them before submitting them to your professor!