Literary Criticism

From Golden Telescope Research Guides

Books will have more in-depth information; databases will have credible articles and literary analysis; and websites will have good overviews and snippets of historical information.


Use a variety of source types. Consider biographical information, theoretical perspectives, historical context, and literary analysis.

On the Shelf

Search the library catalog
Specialized Encyclopedias
Call Numbers
  • 800 Literature
  • 900 History
  • 100 Philosophy & Psychology
  • 300 Social Sciences

Biographical Resources

Biography in Context

  • Find authoritative biographies and multimedia.

Student Resources in Context

  • Search the author's name and click the "Biographies" section.

Historical Context

RJ Discovery Service

  • Searches all relevant databases for your topic.
  • Use a keyword search. As you begin typing it will suggest topics which may be helpful.
  • First result often is a Research Starter which will provide a good overview of the topic.
  • Use limiters, found on the left side of the results page, to narrow your search. An especially helpful limiter is Subject. Be sure to use the Show More link to access all the subject limiters.
  • Use Advanced Search. Search your big topic and a subtopic and consider using ‘’’title’’’ or subject terms in the drop down menu to the right of the search box. This will limit your hits to the most relevant articles immediately.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

  • Recommended titles: Daily Life in Victorian England, Gothic Literature, New Catholic Encyclopedia, Arts and Humanities Through the Eras, Encyclopedia of Religion, Europe 1789-1914: The Encyclopedia of Age of Industry and Empire

U.S. History in Context

  • Find information on local and national events during the setting of the novel.

World History in Context

  • Find global context here.

Literary Analysis

Blooms Literary Reference Center

  • Enter the title of the work and see the results in the Analysis and Criticism tab.
  • If you have chosen a motif, you can find the most relevant works by using the Advanced Search.
  • Search for one of the works by name in the With the exact phrase box AND your motif/topic of discussion in the With all of these words box. This should give you a very limited set of results. Some of the results will deal with other titles and authors.
  • Use the CTRL F search to find the relevant material inside those results.
Citation Information
Use the information at the bottom of the article and Easy Bib citation maker. Double check your entry with A Brief Guide to MLA Style or the information on the OWL website.

Gale Literature Resource Center

  • Enter the title of the work or author.
  • Filter by content types, subjects, publication type, etc. in the navigation to the right.

Literary Reference Center (EBSCO)

  • Enter the title of the work and see the results in the Literary Criticism tab.
  • Limit your results to more relevant results by using the subject options on the left hand side of the screen.
Citation Information
Access the article. Citation link is not active. Select Print. Under Citation format select MLA. When print dialogue box comes up, cancel print. Your MLA citation will be near the top under the words Work Cited.


  • Read special instructions to access JSTOR from home. The instructions are in the middle of the Database page under JSTOR.
  • Use advanced search. Put title in quotation marks in the first box AND your topic/motif in the second box. Use additional search topics to narrow further. Limit results to Language and Literature
Citation Information
Choose export citation. Copy and paste citation information and then use Easy Bib citation maker to format. Double check your entry with A Brief Guide to MLA Style or the information on the OWL website.

RJ Discovery Service

  • Searches all RJ Databases at once.
  • Use filters and a variety of search terms to narrow down results.


Google Scholar

  • Use Advanced Search
  • Use the Find Articles area to create your Boolean search.
  • Limit Collections to articles in the relevant subject area for your search.
  • Results will show if article is available in JSTOR.
  • Full text may OR may not be available. By checking all versions you may find full-text results.

Google Books

  • Search topics and book titles.
  • Will show selections or whole chapters, depending on the copyright agreements for each text.

Evaluation Tools, Citation Tools & Database Passwords

EvaluationTools.png CitationGuide.png DatabasePasswords.png
Basic evaluation form Citing: When and Why For Home Use
Advanced evaluation form . . . . . . . . Citation examples . . . . . . . . . . . .
How to use Easybib