Welcome to the Literary Criticism LibGuide!
"Criticism asks what literature is, what it does, and what it is worth." -Encyclopedia Britannica
Literary criticism analyzes, interprets, and evaluates works of literature. Though you most often find criticism in the form of an essay, in-depth book reviews may also be considered criticism. Criticism may analyze an individual work of literature. It may also examine an author’s body of work.
Authors present us with work that can have multiple meanings, expecting us to consider thoughtfully - to interpret. Writers and critics build on each others' understanding of a work of literature in a kind of dialog. Good criticism can help us develop a better understanding of a work. In addition, it can help us develop a point of view about a work, whether or not we agree with the opinions of the critic.
When looking at criticism, check for:
When looking for criticism, AVOID:
An annotated bibliography is a works cited list that contains information about each item.
The following is a sample - refer to your assignment for specific requirements.
Information that may be included in the annotation:
What kind of information is being presented?
|Usefulness||Relevance to the task - Is the information useful for this assignment?|
|Currency||Is the date of publication important to the topic|
|Audience||Who was this written for?
ex. the general public? a scholar? a child?
|Readability||Is it too easy? Too difficult? Just right?|
|What makes this person an authority?
Look for the 2 “e”s – education and experience
|Source Format||How easy was it to access and use?
Is the same information available elsewhere or in an easier format?
What is the format of the source? (encyclopedia, video, website, interview, etc.)
Where did I find this source? (Internet, NHS library, public library, etc.)
How did I find this source? (search strategy – key words or phrases used)
|Reaction||What did you like about the source? Was it organized logically?
Were main points presented clearly? Was the text easy to follow, or was it choppy?
What did I find difficult about this source?
"Steam Turbine." DisCovering Science. Online ed. Gale, 2003. Discovering Collection.
Web. 28 Oct. 2009.
I found this article by going into the ICONN database Discovering Collection. I used the keyword steam turbine to get this article. There was no author listed, but the article came from the Discovering Science database, so it should be reliable information. The article gave facts about the steam engine as far back as the 1600s as well as information about how it works. It included an illustration of the first steam engine. The information about how it worked was a bit technical and hard to understand, but the main facts were helpful. I will use this information in the background section of my project.
Tips for Finding Literary Criticism in Print Materials
Literary criticism is published in a variety of ways.
Individual works may consist of books by a single author, articles by various authors compiled by an editor, or reprinted articles previously published in a variety of formats now collected in a single source. Individual works of literary criticism may be found by using the SVS Library catalog (see link above).
Reference works are generally multi-volume sets which contain articles by various authors compliled by an editor, or reprinted articles previously published in a variety of formats (chapter in book, journal article, etc.) now collected in a reference set. Literature reference sets reside in the Reference section of the library.
Great Writers Inspire is a project which is making a substantial collection of literary themed learning resources available for global reuse. Thousands of resources are available through the site, including audio and video lectures and short talks, downloadable electronic texts and ebooks, and background contextual resources.
Listed below are three databases that focus on literature.
To access this database from outside the Shepaug campus, a username and password are required. Please check your google drive for the shared folder, "SVS Library Resources for Staff and Students" for required information.