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Scary books and literary classics for Halloween

Reading a classic scary novel is bound to put yourself in the Halloween spirit. (Modifications by Papa Lima Whiskey)

Reading a classic scary novel is bound to put yourself in the Halloween spirit. (Modifications by Papa Lima Whiskey)

Halloween is the time to indulge in scary things. Hollywood may think it has cornered the market on scares, but I declare there are plenty of literary sources that can scare your pants off! I also offer my Halloween book suggestions of short stories, classic books, modern literature and graphic novels that will make you shiver. I dare you to read them late at night in a dark room by yourself!

Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe. Of course, master of the macabre Poe would be on my list. Rather than his classic Tell-Tale Heart, which involves a mentally disturbed man hearing strange noises, my selection is far scarier. Read more

Elements of fiction and other research paper topics for your literature research paper

With so many categories of literature from many parts of the world, there is a vast amount of topics to choose from. (Courtesy of William George Aston)

With so many categories of literature from many parts of the world, there is a vast amount of topics to choose from. (Courtesy of William George Aston)

Literature courses come in many forms. Your course might focus on the elements of fiction or on world literature. When you have to complete a research paper for your literature class, you’ll find that there are a vast number of possible research paper topics. Before you begin to panic, let’s check out a few tips and resources that can help you to manage your assignment.

Literature

According to Questia, literature is the “… sharing and preservation of knowledge, stories and ideas in the form of written communication.” And the folks at Questia should know. The website houses millions of full-text books and articles on a multitude of subjects. Read more

William Shakespeare and Toni Morrison top authors on college reading lists

Author William ShakespeareAn analysis of Questia’s data on 438 literature assignments in 143 courses in 30 colleges and universities across the United States has identified the top 10 authors on campus in 2013. Nine are dead, nine are white, seven are European, and six are male. Topping the list is William Shakespeare, the English dramatist and poet. He is widely considered the greatest playwright who ever lived. And he is the author of one of the assigned texts in 77 courses.

Shakespeare’s assigned texts include: Othello in 16 courses, Macbeth in 11 courses, The Tempest in 10 courses, Hamlet in 9 courses, King Lear in 8 courses, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in 5 courses,  Julius Caesar in 5 courses, Anthony and Cleopatra in 5 courses, The Merchant of Venice in 3 courses, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2 courses, The Taming of the Shrew in 1 course, Titus Andronicus in 1 course, and Cymbeline in 1 course. Read more

Banned Books Week highlights censorship vs freedom of the press in modern literature

Banned Books Week highlights censorship

Banned Books Week highlights censorship of modern literature

Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and others, Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information, free speech and modern literature. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution says that Congress will pass no law abridging freedom of the press, speech, religion, assembly or ability to petition the government. However, all over the country, organizations try to ban the purchase of or access to certain books. This year’s event, which takes place from September 22—28, promotes awareness on these attempts at censorship of modern literature.

Why Banned Books Week?

For decades, public schools, universities, public libraries, state and local governments, school boards, parents and bookstores have tried to ban and censor books. Read more

DIY book projects: Repurpose books into crafts and gifts!

Book Clock #1

Book Clock #1 (Photo credit: David Singleton)

Do you have piles of books lying around collecting dust? After you’re done reading them, why not repurpose books into something new and creative? Here are some Pinterest-inspired DIY book projects, crafts and gifts to help you get rid of those books you’ll never read again!

Re-gift them

Have a wedding shower or baby’s first birthday party to attend? Consider taking a favorite book of the guest-of-honor — for example a children’s book, which author Elaine McMillion of the Beans in a Can blog does in her July 24, 2011 post, “Repurposing Used Children’s Books,” — and slice your favorite pages and illustrations out with an X-Acto knife and placing them in antique frames. Read more

Free reading on top education topics: Celebrating National School Success Month

National School Success MonthFor most schools, class is finally well underway for the fall semester. The beginning of the new school year also marks National School Success Month to help students be their best. In honor of September’s National School Success Month, we at Questia, the premier online research and paper-writing tool for students, have gathered the most researched education topics and opened up reference works on these subjects free for a month. Enjoy! Read more

Summer break ideas for literature students: Gain culture through literature reading and discussion

Summer literature

Summer literature (Photo by JPott)

Literature can do more than help you pass the warm summer afternoons. It can lead to a career in writing, publishing, library science or teaching. Can you imagine yourself in any of those roles? The study of literature can also serve as an excellent preparation for a career in law or communication. Literature helps us to refine our ability to speak, read and write as well as to perform critical thinking. It opens our minds to new ideas and to other languages and cultures. So, what are you waiting for? Try some of these summer break ideas and explore the many places literature can take you.

Explore the literature landscape

Literature can take you positively anywhere! Read more

Celebrating LGBT Pride Month: Free books online about popular LGBT novelists

Novelist Virginia Woolf

Novelist Virginia Woolf

As LGBT Pride Month comes to a close, we’re honoring the accomplishments of the LGBT community by sharing a few interesting facts on the five most researched LGBT novelists in our library. To celebrate, we’ve opened up our library to make reference works on each novelist free for a whole month. Continue the celebration with a newer face in writing by checking out the Books on the Radio blog post, “Amber Dawn Wins Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Authors” covering 2012’s winner of the award for emerging LGBT writers.

  1. Virginia Woolf: Born on January 25, 1882 as Adeline Virginia Stephen, Woolf was homeschooled, spending a great deal of time reading books picked from the library of her father, Leslie Stephen. Her mother Julia passed away when Virginia was 13, and her father when she was 22. Read more

Free books online about Helen Keller: Honoring her inspirational life story

Young Helen Keller with teacher Anne Sullivan

Young Helen Keller with teacher Anne Sullivan

In honor of Helen Keller’s birthday today, June 27th, we’re granting access to the following books for free for an entire month—the top five most researched narratives about Helen Keller. For information on the many ways Helen Keller has inspired young people to make a difference in the world, check out the June 26, 2012 post, “Who Stole Helen Keller?” from the Media dis&dat blog.

  1. The Story of My Life: The Story of My Life is one of the most memorable works chronicling the amazing life of Helen Keller. Written by Keller herself, the book recounts her journey through life living without the ability to see or hear, as Keller lost her hearing and sight at a very young age. Read more

Free poems and poetry criticism this National Poetry Month

Title page of the first edition of John Milton’s “Paradise lost” from 1668.

Title page of the first edition of John Milton’s “Paradise lost” from 1668.

Questia honors National Poetry Month with free online access to popular poems from the Renaissance to today

While students focus on poetry this National Poetry Month, we at Questia are helping them access free poems and poetry criticism. We’ve released a list of our library’s top ten most researched poems from the Renaissance through today, and made reference works on each of them free for all of April.

  1. Paradise Lost by John Milton: Paradise Lost details one of the most famous stories in history: Adam and Eve’s banishment from the Garden of Eden, and the fall of mankind through Satan’s temptations. [Miner, Earl and William Moeck and Steven Jablonski. Paradise Lost, 1668-1968: Three Centuries of Commentary. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2004.] Read more