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Waidner-Spahr Library

Criticism: Literature, Film & Drama: Literature Criticism


This guide will help you locate criticism for Literature, Film, and Drama.

See Also

See the English Libguide for more assistance with Literary Criticism.

See the English Databases List for more resources.

Literature Criticism

Literary criticism is the comparison, analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of works of literature. Literary criticism is essentially an opinion, supported by evidence, relating to theme, style, setting or historical or political context. It usually includes discussion of the work’s content and integrates your ideas with other insights gained from research. Literary criticism may have a positive or a negative bias and may be a study of an individual piece of literature or an author’s body of work.

Although criticism may include some of the following elements in order to support an idea, literary criticism is NOT a plot summary, a biography of the author, or simply finding fault with the literature.

Researching, reading, and writing works of literary criticism will help you to make better sense of the work, form judgments about literature, study ideas from different points of view, and determine on an individual level whether a literary work is worth reading.

Examples of some types of literary criticism are:

  • Biographical
  • Comparative
  • Ethical
  • Expressive
  • Feminist
  • Historical
  • Mimetic
  • Pragmatic
  • Psychological
  • Social
  • Textual
  • Theoretical

Literary Criticism Databases

Literary criticism in essays shortened from their original published versions can be found in the first two databases. Full text databases follow.

Have the citation?

If you already have a newspaper citation, and need to locate the article, use the following steps:

  1. Search the Journal Locator using the title of the newspaper.
  2. If your newspaper is not listed in the results, search the library catalog.
  3. If not available in the Library Catalog or the Journal Locator, use ILLiad to request the article from another library.
  4. Still having trouble? Ask a Librarian for help.

Ask a Librarian

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