This is the "Literature Criticism" page of the "CS135 Contemporary Literature" guide.
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CS135 Contemporary Literature  

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2013 URL: http://libguides.calarts.edu/CS135 Print Guide RSS Updates

Literature Criticism Print Page
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Criticisms v. Reviews

Literature, or literary, criticisms are works that provide an analysis and interpretation of a literary work. Those writing criticisms may look in-depth at themes, plot lines, and characters within the work. Authors of criticisms may also apply specific theories to a work which allows them to present and critque the work through the a particular lense. For more information see: Purdue OWL


Book reviews, on the other hand, may tend to focus more on the merits of the work, how well (or not) a work is written, or its commercial success. Some reviews (for example, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times Book Reviews) may be fairly long and provide some analysis. While these can be useful for your research, it is best to begin with searching for criticisms published in academic journals.

Find Literature Criticisms

Through the following electronic databases you can find not only literature criticisms but also other scholarly articles that will help you with your research. To see the list of databases that are available to you go to the TITLE LIST.

  • Literature Resource Center
    Full-text articles from scholarly journals and literary magazines are combined with critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, biographies, and more to provide a wealth of information on authors, their works, and literary movements. Researchers at all levels will find the information they need, with content covering all genres and disciplines, all time periods and all parts of the world.
  • Project Muse
    Project Muse's collection of journals covers both the humanities and social sciences. Lots of journals that cover literature!
  • Biography In Context
    Biography in Context delivers research support with 600,000+ biographical entries — on more than 528,000 individuals — spanning history and geography. You will find review, criticisms, and biographical information on authors.
  • Humanities Full text
    Humanities Full Text encompasses all fields of the humanities, covering topics including art, classical studies, dance, film, journalism, philosophy, religion and more. This database provides full text, abstracts and bibliographic indexing of the most noted scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as specialized magazines. Content includes feature articles, interviews, obituaries and original works of fiction, drama, and poetry.
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