Guide to Literary Criticism
Use the online catalog to find books about your novel. First, determine the subject heading for your author by typing the author's name (last name, first name) into the search box and choosing Subject Headings. Next, do an Advanced Search: Type the author's subject heading in the first field and choose Search by Subject Words; in the next field type the title of your novel and choose “these words as a phrase” and Search by Any Words. This will pull up entire books of criticism on your novel and books containing at least one critical essay on your novel.
If you search these databases from home, you will be prompted to supply your NetID and password.
The MLA (Modern Language Association) Bibliography indexes literary criticism from 1963 to the present. Note that it is not a full-text resource. Once you find a promising citation, click on the link that will take you to a search in the online catalog or to full text that might be available through another database. You can also try a search for the journal title in the Online Research Resources page.
Project Muse Searches full-text in over 150 journals supplied by 10 university presses. Click on the search button to start your search. Muse works well for more recent periodical issues, while JSTOR (see above) reproduces older volumes.
Try Google Scholar, which searches “open-to-the-free-web” peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.
Finally, consider the general periodical databases that are linked to from the Library's home page. Your best bets are Ebsco's Academic Search Premier, Infotrac's Academic OneFile and Infotrac's Expanded Academic ASAP.
If you search these resources from home, you will be prompted to supply your NetID and password.
Magill OnLiterature is a definitive online source for editorially reviewed critical analyses. It also includes brief plot summaries of the most studied works in the history of literature.
Literature Criticism Online is a digitized collection of ten Gale series solely comprised of literary criticism. These series include the following topics: contemporary literature, 20th century lit., 19th century lit., Shakespeare, lit. from 1400-1800, classical and medieval lit., poetry, short stories, drama, and children's literature. Entries are viewed in a reader embedded in the browser (akin to reading the print version) or can be downloaded as PDF files.
Literature Resource Center identifies biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of authors from every age and literary discipline. Coverage of more than 120,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and other writers, with in-depth coverage of 2,500 of the most-studied authors. This database only allows 4 simultaneous users.
The English Library on the third floor of the Main Library has a great variety of reference sources that can help you complete this project. Check their website of online reference sources for additional possibilities.