Starting a critical analysis of an author, work, or genre? Not sure how to start or feeling overwhelmed by the articles you do find? Save time by getting an overview of what literary criticism already exists on your topic.
Yes, you can use Wikipedia as a starting point, but when you need direction on academic sources, information on this page will help you:
Visit the pages on this guide for Academic Articles, Books, and Cultural Context to continue your research.
Learn more about an author:
When searching in these databases, look for Author or Person search options. From the search results, look for options to limit your results to content types like:
Trying to get a handle on every bit of information about what an author has published? WorldCat Identities is a good starting point. Includes some anthology information.
Plot summaries and character overviews cannot take the place of reading a work. However, they can provide terms and keywords for further research. Take note of subject terms, adjectives, genres, and themes that appear.
When searching these databases, look for options to search for a Work/Name of Work. From the search results, look for options to limit results to:
Use the John Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism to establish a baseline understanding of key theories, theorists, and movements in literature.
Entries include extensive bibliographies.
To find books about a work or an author, instead of a copy of the original work try:
1. Click on the Advanced Search button from the Search It box on K-State Libraries' home page.
2. Click the K-State Libraries only tab
3. Using the drop down options, change Any to in subject
4. Enter the work title or author's name in the search box
Guides, companions, and encyclopedias offer an in-depth entry point to studying literature. These works are often written for students or a researcher exploring new content and provide a window into the existing scholarship (including theory and criticism).
Don't find what you need using the links below? Try:
2. Broaden your search to a term that would include your author/work/movement.
For instance, information about Octavia Butler could appear in works about African American authors, the science fiction and fantasy genre, and twentieth century women authors.