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How to Find Literary Criticism

Table of Contents:

Reference Books
Author’s biographies, compilations of critical essays, indexes, and bibliographies
  • Literature Resource Center (Gale)
    This full-text database includes selected articles from the textbooks listed below, and includes journal articles, literary criticism, reviews, biographical information, and overviews on over 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods and from around the world.
  • Gale Publishing Co. Literary Series Reference Books
    • Contemporary Authors
      This series contains author's biographies, lists of their works, and may list additional biographical and critical sources. Use the cumulative index (a separate paperback volume) which also indexes other Gale reference books containing information on your author and/or his works.
      • Location(s): Reference PN771 .C67
      Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
    • Dictionary of Literary Biography
      This series presents career biographies and criticism of writers from all eras and all genres through volumes dedicated to specific types of literature and time periods.
      • Location(s): Reference PN451 .D54
      Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
    • Shakespeare for Students
      Contains analysis of the stories, poems, or plays, and some criticism. Use the cumulative author/title index in the last volume of the set.
      • Location(s): Reference PR2987 .S468
      Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
  • Salem Literature
    This full-text database provides online access to Critical Insights and Masterplots. Each volume of Critical Insights focuses on an individual author or on a single work of literature. Masterplots provides plot synopses and critical evaluations of English-language and world literature.
  • Print Indexes
    • Shakespeare Quarterly
      Contains articles related to Shakespeare and his works. Starting in 1973, the final issue in each volume is the annual World Shakespeare Bibliography, which records important books, articles, etc. related to Shakespeare published during the year.
      • Location(s): Index Shelves
  • Bibliography
    • Twentieth-Century Short Story Explication
      A comprehensive index of short story criticism essays that were published in books and periodicals during the 20th Century.
      • Location(s): Reference PN3373 .W34
      Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
Full-text online books.
  • ebrary
    The College Complete collection contains over 20,000 ebooks in a wide variety of subjects. Features include 24/7 remote access, personal bookshelf that includes annotations and highlighting, and the ability to copy, paste, print up to 60 pages, and download.
Circulating Books
Compilations of critical essays in books that you can check out.
  • Click on Classic MnPALS
    Search "Anywhere in Record" and use your author's name a keyword search.
  • Narrowing your search:
    Click "Modify" then add the word "crit?".
    • Adding this truncated word will limit your search to only those records that also have words starting with crit in them, such as criticism, critical, or critique.
  • Broadening your search:
    Think of broader terms. For example, if you are looking for information on "Bessie Head"
    • A keyword search for "Bessie Head" finds 5 records.
    • A keyword search for "Caribbean Writers" finds 9 records. These books probably also contain information about Bessie Head and/or her works.
    • An even broader keyword search. "African women authors" finds 71 records. These books may also contain information on your author and/or her works.
  • Note: You can search using the title of the story, play, or poem as a keyword search, in case it appears in the content notes of a book record. However, many book records do not have content notes.
Journal Databases
Articles found in print journals and reprinted in online databases.
  • Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)
    This multi-disciplinary database provides full text for nearly 4,500 journals, including full text for more than 3,600 peer-reviewed titles.
  • Discovering Collection (Gale)
    Covers history, literature, science, social studies, and more. Provides a premium selection of reference, primary sources, creative works, and multimedia, including hours of video and audio clips.
  • Expanded Academic ASAP (Gale)
    From arts and the humanities to social sciences, science and technology, this database meets research needs across all academic disciplines. Access scholarly journals, news magazines, and newspapers, many with full text and images.
    Humanities and social sciences full-text articles.
  • MLA International Bibliography (EBSCO)
    This database offers a detailed bibliography of journal articles, books and dissertations. Produced by the Modern Language Association, it dates back to the 1920s. The indexed material coverage is international and includes links to full text.
  • Use the title of the story as keywords.
    If you need to limit, also use the author's last name.
    • Print the article, or checkout the journal.
    • If you can't print the article or check out the journal, get the article through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
Web Sites
Essays reprinted on the Web and a few original works.
  • Voices from the Gaps
    Focuses on the lives and works of North American minority women artists and writers, visual artists, performance artists, musicians, sonic artists, and filmmakers. Each artist page presents biographical, critical and bibliographical information about the artist, images and quotations pertinent to her life and works, and links to other resources on the web that provide information about her, including translations and archives.
Citation Formats

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