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Where do I find literary criticism?
Literary criticism analyzes, evaluates, or interprets novels, poems, short stories and other works of literature. It can be used to gain new insights into important aspects of the work you are studying or to support your own opinions.
Is literary criticism the same as a book review? Often this depends on whom you ask. However, a book review can be a critical source if it provides an evaluation of the material instead of telling you it is a good read. If you are unsure about your source be sure to ask your teacher.
When looking for criticism, check for:
Qualifications of the critic
Quality of the sources used
Opinions supported by evidence
You should not use sources that:
Plot summaries
Casual posts on discussion groups
Works of other students
Author biography
At the Richmond Hill Public Library, you can find literary criticism through the library's catalogue and databases.
Use the catalogue to find books about an author's work. This is done by entering the author's name as a subject search. Books found under the subheading "criticism and interpretation" are particularly useful. For example:
Austen, Jane -- criticism and interpretation
You can also use the catalogue to find criticism of a particular novel. Do a subject search of the the author's name, followed by the title of the novel, for example:
Austen, Jane -- Pride and Prejudice
Use electronic databases to find articles with criticism on your author or book. These are accessed in the Library or from home (with a Richmond Hill Public Library card) through the E-Resources page. Recommended databases are the Literature Resource Center and Ebsco. For Canadian authors, you may want to try CBCA Complete and CPI.Q.
If you have any questions about how access these resources please call the Reference Desk at 905.884.9288 x301 during operating hours.
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