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Literary Criticism Research Guide - LSC-North Harris

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Starting Point

Finding literary criticism about particular short stories or poems often takes persistence.  There may not be articles written about each story or poem by an author. You may be able to apply a critic's comments on other works by the same author to your selected work. Check with your professor. 

  1. Think about your topic and what are you trying to answer. 
    • Who is the author? What is the title of the work or works?
    • What literary elements will you discuss?  
      • Style? Theme? Plot? Characters? 
      • Symbolism? Tone? Setting?  Point of View?  Irony?
  2. List terms that best represent the main concepts of your topic.  
  • author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • title of work: Yellow Wallpaper
  • author: Charlotte Bronte
  • title of work: Jane Eyre
  • theme: marriage
  • author: Alice Walker
  • title of work: Everyday Use
  • symbol: quilt

Research Databases

Find book chapters and journal articles. Use your 14-digit library barcode number for off-campus access (the number is on the back of your student ID).  Don't have an ID? Get one from the library. Distance students can fill out the online request form.

Additional Databases:

Library Catalog

Find books, e-books, DVDs, and more.


Use the Library Catalog

  • Enter search terms:
    • Gilman and criticism
    • Yellow Wallpaper and criticism
    • Gilman and Yellow Wallpaper and criticism
  • Browse search results and click on the title to view the detailed item record.
  • Scroll to the bottom for availability, collection, location, and call number.
  • To find the book on the shelf you will need the complete call number.
  • To request a book from another location, click "request first available copy" then type in your library barcode number and your PIN.

Library Catalog Video Tutorials

It is unusual to find an entire book devoted to one short story or poem, but you may find books that contain chapters or pages with discuss the story or poem you are writing about.

Once you have a book of criticism in hand, consult the Table of Contents and/or the Index to find chapters or pages which discuss a particular story. 

Web Sites

Writing Help

MLA Format Guides


Video Introduction to MLA 8 (7 min)






Video Introduction to MLA 7 (7 min)







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