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Syracuse University Libraries

Composition & Cultural Rhetoric: Reference Works

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The sources listed in Online Reference Sources  provide you with searchable access background information from hundreds of sources.

The sources listed in Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Guides in Print are books in you can find in the Bird Library.

Online Reference Resources

  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
    Define words and trace their development with "the definitive record of the English language" (choose Enter OED Online)

  • Oxford Reference Online
    Full-text of relevant reference books including The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature, The Oxford Companion to English Literature, The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English, and A Dictionary of Writers and their Works.

  • Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
    Full-text searchable database of articles on individual critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods. It also treats related persons and fields that have been shaped by or have themselves shaped literary theory and criticism.

  • CREDOreference
    Full-text reference books in the arts, humanities, including A Dictionary of Literary Symbols, The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature and many others.

  • Dictionary of Literary Biography
    Provides entries containing biographical information, critical summaries, and references for further reading on the work of novelists, poets, playwrights, short story writers, and other creative writers from all eras and genres.

  • Contemporary Authors
    Biographical and bibliographic information on more than 130,000 active and influential authors. Includes biographical sketches, lists of authors' works, and citations for further readings on the authors.  CA is updated bi-weekly with revisions and new entries.

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Guides in Print

Handbooks and Encyclopedias:

Dictionaries and Glossaries:

Thematic Resources:

    • The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Writing.
      PE 1404 .B59
      Bird-5th Floor
      See the essay entitled, "A Brief History of Rhetoric and Composition," followed by an annotated bibliography arranged in sections: e.g., composing process, collaborative learning, writing centers, etc.

Subject Specialist

Patrick Williams's picture
Patrick Williams
551 Bird Library

222 Waverly Avenue

Syracuse, NY 13244