Shatford Library

Shatford Library

Literature Criticism

1. Library Catalog - Find Books, Media and Pamphlets

Use the Library Catalog to find out more on the author & his/her work:
Use Basic Search: subject browse  (from the drop down menu) - type in the author’s last name, first name.

  • Look for subheadings after the name, such as:   -- criticism and interpretation;          --title of individual work; --characters; --plots
  • Write down call number (example: 813.5 K33), location: east end of the 3rd floor
  • Also try using subject browse; type in a subject term for the type of literature. For example: Science fiction, American--History and criticism
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2. Reference Books

Selected Reference Books for Literary Criticism (Library Reference Collection, Second Floor)

Literary Criticism and Literary Biography Series
Use the Cummulative Index within the book or the Gale Literary Index online to find your author or the title of the work within these sets of books (listed by abbreviated code). NOTE: some of this material is included in the Literature Resources Center Database.

REF 809 C 1 Contemporary Literary Criticism  (CLC)
REF 809 N 7 Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism (NCLC)
REF 809 T 5 Twentieth Century Literary Criticism  (TCLC)
REF 809.3 S 15 Short Story Criticism  (SSC)
REF 809.2  D 7 Drama Criticism  (DC)
REF 928 D 2- Dictionary of Literary Biography

The For Students series provides criticism, plot summaries, character descriptions and discussion of themes, style, and historical context.  Refer to the back of the last volume of the set for a cumulative author/title index.

REF 809.3  N 2 Novels for Students
REF 809.2  D 8 Drama for Students
REF 809.3 S 16 Short Stories for Students

REF 928 C2 Index   Contemporary Authors: Cumulative Index  (Located at the Reference desk)

Use this index to find information on your author or by the “title of the work” within many sets of books in the Library’s Reference Collection.  Use the table in front to find the abbreviations for these sources then find the call number listed above. Feel free to ask the Librarian for help using this index.

CA Index picture and description

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3. Databases and Indexes - Find Articles

Literature Resource Center - Find critical essays, topical essays, work overviews, biographical essays, and interviews published in scholarly journals, books and magazines.

Access from Library website, select Databases by Name (

      • Search by author, title, or keyword;  Print or email articles
      • Search tip: click TITLE search and check exact title; add author last name to limit results
      • Use link to the Gale Literary Index, to identify additional information in print sources

ProQuest - includes articles from scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers

      • Enter keywords such as author’s name or title of a work (use quotation marks)

For example:  “joy luck club” AND literary criticism

      • Enter title of work in quotation marks; select more search options: document type: reviews
                       For example: ("mambo mouth") AND AT(review)
      • Limit results by publication type

Project Muse Find reviews and critical essays in selected scholarly journals.

      • Under Basic Search type author’s name or type in title of the work (in quotation marks)
        • Choose “within Author reviewed” using the arrow to the right
        • Or Choose “within Title reviewed” using the arrow to the right
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4. Resources on the World Wide Web

Finding reliable information on the web can be challenging.
Use the ipl2 site (Look under Subject: Arts and Humanities.  Subsection: Literature)

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last updated: 11/18/2011 by P. Johnson revision #5