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Answered By: Katy Webb
Last Updated: Apr 05, 2018     Views: 168

  • You can find much of this material in Literature Online,an online full-text database from Chadwyck-Healey. For the most effective searches for criticism, select "Search: Criticism and Reference" and search by keyword, phrase (in quotation marks), or author.

  • Another way to find literary criticism is to search for collections of critical essays published as books in the ECU Libraries Catalog. Choose the "Subject Alphabetical" search, then type in the author's last name and first name (i.e., to find books about Toni Morrison, type in "Morrison, Toni"). This will bring up a list of books about that author. Quite often, you will find a subject heading that reads "Author -- Criticism and interpretation." Click on this subject heading for a list of books, and look at the bottom of the individual records to get the call number. Most criticism will have a call number that starts with the letter "P," which means it is located on the 3rd floor.

  • You can also find criticism by searching in the MLA Bibliography. This database, produced by the Modern Language Association, indexes and abstracts articles on literature and languages from over 4,000 journals and series published worldwide from 1963 to the present. It also covers relevant books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. The best way to search for criticism on a particular work is to do a combination author/work search. For example, to find criticism on William Faulkner's novel "The Sound and the Fury," select the "words anywhere" search and type in "Faulkner and sound and fury." This will work for short stories and individual poems as well. For works that were published prior to 1981, you may want to try just a plain author search to be absolutely thorough because indexing back then did not necessarily include individual titles. You can usually tell by the title and other subject descriptors what the article is about.

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