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Literary Criticism Research Guide

Locating Poetry Criticism


Most literary criticism is found within books and journal articles. It is not always possible to find critical articles that discuss every poem by every author, even major writers. When an individual poem is not analyzed, you need to look for criticism that discusses the poet's theme and style in general and apply that information to the poem in question.

To find criticism of a specific poem, use the library catalog to search by subject.

Examples:

  • (Author's name) — bibliography
  • (Author's name) — criticism and interpretation
  • (Author's name) — technique

 


Reference Books


Use the Reference Collection to find criticism, background information, and bibliographies of additional sources. Background knowledge about the poet, such as the time period, social and economic influences, personal and professional relationships may help you understand the poem. Background knowledge about a poem should not be confused with criticism.

A sample of useful titles to consider:

American Writers
     Ref PS129 .A55

British Writers
     Ref PR85. B688

Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism
     Ref PN681.5 .C57

Contemporary English poetry
     Ref PR601.S53

Crowell's Handbook of Contemporary American Poetry
     Ref PS323.5.M3

Critical Survey of Poetry
     Ref PR502 .C85 8 Volumes

Dictionary of Literary Biography
     Ref PS21 .D5

European Writers
     Ref PN501 .E9

Index to Criticisms of British and American Poetry
     Ref PR89.C5

Latin American Writers
     Ref PQ 7081 .A1 L37

Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800
     Ref PN 86 .L53

Modern American Literature
     Ref PS221 .C8

Modern Poetry
     Ref PS323.5.A1 A5

Poetry Explication
     Ref Z2014 .P7 K8

A sample of Encyclopedias And Dictionaries for additional background information:

A Handbook to Literature
     Ref PN41 .H6

Poet's Dictionary:  A handbook of Prosody and Poetic Devices
     Ref PN 44.5 P3

New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
     Ref PN1021 .N39

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English
     Ref PR601 .O9

 

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Find Journal Articles for Poetry Criticism


Search the following databases to locate citations to and/or full-text of journal articles. If the article does not appear to be full-text online, search for its availability using the Journal Finder. Journals listed as "in Geisel Library Paper Holdings" are shelved alphabetically by journal title on the Lower Level of the library. Many others are available full-text online by following the links provided.

MLA International Bibliography
Produced by the Modern Language Association of America, the MLA Bibliography provides access to international scholarship in literature as well as languages, linguistics and folklore. Over 3000 journal titles are indexed. Coverage is from 1963 to the present.

Literature Resource Center
Find biographical information on authors, as well as bibliographies, plot summaries, and literary criticism of their works. This resource also provides the full text of articles from more than 100 literary journals.    User Guide

Project MUSE
"Project MUSE provides online, worldwide, institutional subscription access to the full text of more than 200 scholarly journals in arts and humanities, social sciences, and mathematics."

Academic Search Premier
A broad index providing abstracts and some full-text for a range of academic areas, including literary criticism.

 

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Poetry Internet Sites With Criticism


Electronic Poetry Center

Modern American Poetry

Poets.org

Poetry Society of America

Prose and Verse Criticism of Poetry

 

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Locating Short Story Criticism


Most literary criticism is found within books and journal articles. It is not always possible to find critical articles that discuss every short story by every author, even major writers. When an individual story is not analyzed, you need to look for criticism that discusses the author's theme and style in general and apply that information to the short story in question.

To find criticism of a specific short story, use the library catalog to search.

Examples:

Subject search:

  • (Author's name) — bibliography
  • (Author's name) — criticism and interpretation

Keyword Search:

  • Hawthorne and stories
  • Hawthorne and criticism
  • Short Fiction and Hawthorne and criticism

 

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Reference Books


Use the Reference Collection to find criticism, background information, and bibliographies of additional sources. Background knowledge about the author, such as the time period, social and economic influences, personal and professional relationships may help you understand the short story. Background knowledge about a short story should not be confused with criticism.

A sample of useful titles to consider for criticism and background information:

British Writers
     Ref PR85. B688

Critical Survey of Short Fiction
     Ref PN3373 .C7 7 volumes

Twentieth-century Short Story Explication
     Ref PN3373 .W33 (all series)

European Writers
     Ref PN501 .E9 14 volumes

Short Fiction Criticism
     Ref PR829.T58

American Writers
     Ref PS129 .A55

Modern American Literature
     Ref PS221 .C8

Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-century American Short Story
     Ref PS374.S5 C57

Facts on File Companion to the American Short Story
     Ref PS374.S5 F33

 

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Find Journal Articles for Short Story Criticism


MLA International Bibliography
Produced by the Modern Language Association of America, the MLA Bibliography provides access to international scholarship in literature as well as languages, linguistics and folklore. Over 3000 journal titles are indexed. Coverage is from 1963 to the present.

Literature Resource Center
Find biographical information on authors, as well as bibliographies, plot summaries, and literary criticism of their works. This resource also provides the full text of articles from more than 100 literary journals.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index
Provides indexing to the world's leading arts and humanities journals and selections from social science and science journals. Includes articles, bibliographies, editorials, letters, and reviews. (1980–present)

Project MUSE
"Project MUSE provides online, worldwide, institutional subscription access to the full text of more than 200 scholarly journals in arts and humanities, social sciences, and mathematics."

Academic Search Premier
A broad index providing abstracts and some full-text for a range of academic areas, including literary criticism.

 

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Short Story Internet Sites With Criticism


Internet Public Library's Literature Resources
Search by keyword. Example: (Hawthorne and short story and criticism)

Literary Resources on the Net
Use the simple search.

 

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Citing Sources


See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.

 

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