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French Language and Literature: General Info

Databases for Finding Articles and Books

ZSR Homepage Search & Primo
Good place to start when your topic is cross-disciplinary. Try using French-language keywords to retrieve French-language results.

Databases from Related Fields

French Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Encyclopédie Larousse
Also includes a monolingual and bilingual dictionary.

French dictionaries are shelved in PCsome in the Reference stacks (4th floor Wilson Wing); others in the Main Stacks (Reynolds 5). Besides basic dictionaries, specialty dictionaries cover topics like:

  • Regional varieties (e.g. Louisiana, Quebeçois)
  • Old French
  • Historical and etymological dictionaries
  • Monolingual French dictionaries
  • Slang dictionaries/argot

A few special-topic dictionaries are shelved in other places, e.g. scientific terms in the Science section. To browse the entire collection, search the catalog for

Source Texts

Search Tips

Watch out for variant spellings of names of works, characters, etc.

Example: An article about The Stranger may use the title L’Étranger even if the article is in English.

Use a * to cut off a word at its stem, e.g. Haiti* retrieves Haiti, Haitian, haïtien, etc.

Type the word AND (or use the second row) if you want to enter more than one word that is not an exact phrase.

If you can't use a star to search for spelling variants, use OR
france OR french OR français

Special MLA Style Rules for French

Consult the MLA Handbook Plus for citation advice.

Specific rules for French are given for the capitalization of titles of works, capitalization of terms and names of persons.

Subject Guide

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Carol Cramer