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“Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.” ― Amy Tan
Last Updated: Oct 14, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Your Assignment Print Page



What Do You Know?

You probably already know a little something about this author and literary work, but it's important to find out more in order to write an intelligent research paper. 

Ask yourself:

  • What do I know?
  • What can I find out?

biographical information
plot overviews
character studies
literary style
critical essays


      What You Need to Know

      Understanding Your Assignment

      Before you begin looking for information you should make sure you understand your assignment. Some good questions are:

      • How many pages?
      • How many sources?
      • What kinds of sources?
        • Books
        • Articles
        • Websites
      • What format?

      Your professor is your best resource to answer these questions.

      image of student with her hand raised


      The Joy Luck Club

      Cover Art
      The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan
      Call Number: PS3570.A48 J6 1989
      ISBN: 9780399134203


      What is Literary Criticism?

      pen and ink image  Literary Criticism is discussion, analysis or appraisal of a literary work- whether a novel, poem, play, short story or essay.

      As a literary critic, you will read and study a piece of literature and attempt to:

      • describe
      • analyze
      • justify
      • interpret
      • evaluate

      The guide will help you find biographical and critical information about authors and their works.


      Research Basics - Step by Step

      Breaking Down The Research Process  

        research process image

      The following outline gives a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs. We are ready to help you at every step in your research.

      1. Choose a topic - or have one assigned
      2. Understand your topic
        • Background reading
        • Consider a main focus
        • Refine your topic
        • Make a list of your keywords and concepts
      3. Search Sources
        • Find Books
        • Find Articles
        • Find Websites
      4. Write your paper - Informative, Analytical, Argumentative, Critical
      5. Cite your sources

                Other Books by Amy Tan

                Cover Art
                Saving Fish from Drowning - Amy Tan
                Call Number: HQ759 .C59 2011
                ISBN: 9780345464019
                Publication Date: 2006-09-26

                Cover Art
                The Bonesetter's Daughter - Amy Tan
                Call Number: PS3570.A48 B6 2001
                ISBN: 9780399146435
                Publication Date: 2001-02-19

                Cover Art
                The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan
                Call Number: PS3570.A48 H86 1995
                ISBN: 9780399141140
                Publication Date: 1995-10-17

                Cover Art
                The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan
                Call Number: ON ORDER
                ISBN: 9780143119081

                Cover Art
                The Opposite of Fate - Amy Tan
                Call Number: PS3570.A48 Z47 2003
                ISBN: 9780399150746


                Professsor Cavallaro
                Fall 2016


                Talk to a Librarian

                Need Help 

                The Cerritos College Librarians can help you with your research in a variety of ways:

                Librarians are available during library hours to answer your questions by phone or chat.
                (562) 860-2451 x2425


                Monica Lopez


                Contact Info:

                Librarian/Associate Professor
                Acquisitions and Collection Development Coordinator
                562-860-2451 Ext. 2434

                Phone: (562) 860-2451 x2434



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