What Is Literary Criticism?
Literary Criticism is not criticism the way we normally think about it. It's not a kind of writing that just communicates negative ideas.
Rather, literary criticism is the analysis, interpretation, and sometimes the evaluation of authors and their works.
Literary criticism is usually in the form of an essay; examples of typical subjects include
- an analysis of the structure of a work
- the use of symbolism
- techniques of characterization
- an exploration of key themes
- a connection between the work and some historical context or event
- a comparison between this work and another
- a placement of this work in the scope of the author's entire body of work, or within a literary movement
Often, writers incorporate other literary criticism into their own work to build on a theory or idea.
General Suggestions for Searching for Literary Criticism
1. Use the specialized databases Literature Resource Center (GALE) and/or Literary Reference Center (EBSCO). Under the "OTHER" tab in the search box on the home page, select "Library Databases by Subject."
2. Search OneSearch for BOOKS and EBOOKS related to the author or work.
To do this, type the name of the author or work as your search query. On the results page, in the LEFT COLUMN under SOURCE TYPE select "books" and "eBooks."
3. Do a search using OneSearch and limit your results to "Academic Journals."
4. Do a general search using OneSearch.