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English 1023 - Composition II: Finding Literary Criticism

How to find literary criticism

Generally, literary criticism is a term given to studies that define, classify, analyze, interpret or evaluate works of literature.  They are often published as articles in peer-reviewed journals or in scholarly books written about the author or the analyzed work.  To find articles in a database, try searching for the name of the work ("Araby"), the author's name (Joyce), and the theme or aspect of the book you would like to explore ("Loss of innocence").  

Literary Criticism in Find It

Find Literary Criticism in Find It by searching for the keywords, author names, titles of a work, or topical terms.  Then use these filters:

  • Availability: Limit to Peer-reviewed articles to find scholarly articles.

  • Resource Type: Select "Articles".  Avoid "Reviews" or exclude them from your search.

  • Subject: These terms will limit results to articles ABOUT the selected subject or in the GENRE of the subject.  Find subject terms like "Literary Criticism" as well as terms such as the author's name or the title of the work. 

Other Databases Containing Literary Criticism

Databases with literary cricitism

Use these subject-specific databases to find literary criticism. All are located at the library's A-to-Z Database page:

Proquest Literature One

This is the library's most comprehensive library database on literature and literary criticism.  It includes peer-reviewed articles, author biographies, reference works, and primary texts.  It also indexes the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL).

Screenshot of Literature online homepage showing buttons for criticism, author pages, etc.


Literature Resource Center

An online literature database that includes biographical information about authors as well as literary criticism on author's works.  Also includes access to the Encyclopedia of Literature.

Screenshot of Literature Resource Center, showing tabs for person search, work search, and topic finder


MLA International Bibliography

A large indexing database with access to citations and some full-text articles for literary criticism.  Also includes a vast Thesaurus for individual literary works and authors.  Be sure to click "Check Find it for full text" to verify access or limit results to full-text.

Screenshot of MLA bibliography search