Literary Criticism Research Guide
Starting the Research Process
Find a topic of interest to you that meets the guidelines for your assignment. Use Library resources to find information on the specific literary work (play, novel, poem, or short story), or author, or genre related to your literary research. Develop search terms (keywords) to use in your research process.
The MVCC Library has many resources on specific literary works and authors. Ask a Librarian if you need help finding information.
Search within our Library collection for books, eBooks, and DVDs.
Suggested search strategies:
by Title: Fences
by Author: August Wilson
by Genre: African Americans - Drama
To search the Library Databases for criticism and articles, try combining search terms:
Author and Title: August Wilson and Fences
Author and Theme: August Wilson and race relations
Academic Search Complete
Includes informative articles about specific novels, short stories, plays, and poems. Also includes criticism from newspapers, magazines, and academic journals.
Gale Virtual Reference Library - Literature
Drama for Students
Provides critical overview of the most-studied plays of all time periods, nations, and cultures. Includes discussions of themes, characters, critical reception, dramatic devices and traditions, as well as cultural and historical context.
Novels for Students
Provides critical overview of novels from various cultures and time periods. Includes discussions of plot, characters, themes, and style, as well as the work's cultural and historical significance.
Poetry for Students
Features discussion and analysis of poems of all time periods, nations, and cultures. Provides critical overview and text of the poem, with discussion of its themes, style, form, and historical context.
Shakespeare for Students
Each entry includes an introduction, critical overview, plot synopsis, character list, discussion of the work's themes, information about the style and literary devices used, and discussion of the work's historical context.
Short Stories for Students
Provides critical overview of short stories from all cultures and time periods. Includes discussions of plot, characters, themes, and structure, as well as the story's cultural and historical significance.
Scholarly articles across many subjects. Mainly archival articles from two years ago and older. Type in your search terms, and refine your search by clicking in the appropriate Discipline box, such as: Language & Literature.
MLA International Bibliography
The Modern Language Association's online database for scholarly research in literature, writing, and language.