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English

Criticism and resources for all types of English literature and periods such as Shakespeare.

Finding Criticism

Use the techniques described on this page to find literary criticism by using our general search bar or the MLA International Bibliography database.

With different search strategies, your results might appear the same, but usually they aren't identical. Look carefully!


Advanced Search Use this to search our catalog. It includes books held in the library, full-text articles from selected databases, audio CDs, DVDs, streaming videos, and more.

MLA (Modern Language Association) is the database for literature and folklore research.
Search here for scholarly criticism and discussion of all genres of literature, including authors, their works, and important themes.
For best results, pay close attention to the captions where you enter your search terms.

MLA is not full text, so use the Find It! button to see if we have the full text elsewhere.

Searching the Catalog

Author as Subject

When you do this search, the books you find will be significantly (if not exclusively) about the author.

  1. Search for the author's name. This captures everything by and about that author.
  2. Then limit your search to Subject to find books about that author and their works.
  3. The updated results list will contain biographies of the author and criticism and interpretation about their works that have been written by other scholars.

Criticism as Keyword

Search for either the author name or the title of the specific work and add the word criticism: kate chopin criticism

With this search, the books might be solely about the author or contain only a single chapter — but it could be the perfect chapter.

Essay and General Literature Index

Find in the Reference Section, under heading Reference AI3 E752

Look here to find:

  • essays in books about authors and their works
  • essays by subject

Using the Index

To start, choose the volume that includes the year the novel was published, or the year or two after. Well-known authors who enjoy continued criticism may be listed in several volumes, so you may want to check multiple years.

You can search three ways:

  1. By author of interest:
    These entries include citations to essays about the author in general or about specific works. If you have a particular novel in mind, always search by the author first.
  2. By author of the essay:
    See the citations for the essays he or she wrote.
  3. By subject:
    Find citations to essays on literature and other topics.

Retrieving Essays

Entries include the essay title then, in parentheses, the book title:

Author Last Name, Initial. Title. (In Book's Author, Initial. Book Title).

If you want to read an essay, use the General Search to search for the book title. If we don't have it, we can order it for you.