Literary Criticism

Finding Articles


Quite a bit of literary criticism is disseminated through journal articles. Start with this database:

Academic Search Premier via EBSCOhost
This database has articles from a few dozen criticism journals and contains some full-text articles. Please note that it only covers articles written since about 1990.

However, with literary criticism research, you often need to search further back in time. If this is the case for you, then try these databases:

Literature Resource Center
This reference resource provides access to critical analysis of authors from every age and literary discipline. Our subscription also includes LitFinder.

MLA Bibliography
This database from the Modern Language Association indexes drama and literature journals back to the 1960s. Please note that search results include only citations and abstracts, not full-text articles.

JSTOR: Language & Literature
This database was developed with the help of the Modern Language Association and includes the full text of 58 core journals in the diverse fields of literary criticism (including drama and theatre) that have emerged in the last thirty years. Please note that coverage dates vary from journal to journal.

If your research deals with literature or authors and history, you should try:

America: History and Life via EBSCOhost
This database indexes articles about America and Canada written since 1954. Search results include citations and abstracts, not full-text articles.

Historical Abstracts via EBSCOhost
This database indexes articles about world history, excluding the United States and Canada, written since 1954. Search results include citations and abstracts, not full-text articles.

If you are looking for book reviews since 1990 or so, try:

This full-text database provides access to many North American and international newspapers.

ProQuest Central
This database provides access to many full-text magazine and newspaper articles.

Finding Books


To locate books owned by Niagara University Library, use the Library Catalog.

Tip: You can find literary criticism books on a particular author's work by doing a keyword search using the author's last name and the word criticism. For example, Dickens AND criticism. Also, when you're looking at a literary criticism book entry, you can find similar books by clicking on the subject heading that will look like this one: Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 -- Criticism and interpretation

The ebrary electronic book collection offers full-text access to many titles.

If you want to search for books owned by other libraries, too, then try searching WorldCat, a catalog that contains references to more than 57 million items owned by 9,000 libraries worldwide. Don't worry - if you need a book owned by another library, you can request it. To learn how, jump to the section called Obtaining Materials NU Library Does Not Own.

Finding Dissertations and Theses


Doctoral dissertations and master's theses may be useful to your research.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection
This is a comprehensive collection of scholarly research in the humanities and social sciences covering more than one million dissertations and theses, many in full text.

Finding Author Biographies, Literary Criticism Reference Works, and Web Sites


Literature Resource Center
This reference resource provides full-text access to biographies and critical analysis of authors from every age and literary discipline. The database covers more than 90,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and other writers, with additional in-depth coverage of 2,500 of the most studied authors. Our subscription also includes LitFinder and MLA International Bibliography. 

Twayne Authors Series
This literary reference resource series provides literary criticism for nearly 600 authors.

The Library also has a large collection of literature and literary criticism reference books that may be helpful for your research. For example:

  • Contemporary Authors (Z1224 .C62)
  • Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (PN41 .C67x 2001)
  • Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature (PN1008.5 .C66 2001)
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism (PN771 .C59)
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography (PN451 .D545x)
  • Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century (PN771 .E5)
  • Literature Criticism From 1400 to 1800 (PN86 .L53 1984)
  • Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (PN41 .M42 1995)
  • Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism (PN761 .N5)
  • Poetry Criticism (PN1010 .P499)
  • Shakespearean Criticism (PR2965 .S43)
  • Short Story Criticism (PN3373 .S386)
  • Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (PN771 .G27)

The Reference Collection is located on the first floor.

If you are looking for specific information on the World Wide Web, visit a search engine like Google and type your keywords in.

If you would like to browse a directory of literary criticism web sites, try this one:

Internet Public Library: Literary Criticism

Finding Films


There are three places to look for educational video and documentaries owned by Niagara University Library.

  1. The Educational DVD Collection is located on the first floor of the Library.
    This collection exceeds 1,500 titles and can be viewed and searched via the NU Library Catalog.
  2. Films on Demand. More than 6,000 video titles are available for streaming anywhere on campus.
  3. The web is a good source of video as well. Refseek links to some of the best sites:

Obtaining Materials NU Library Does Not Own


If you need an article or a book that NU Library does not own, you can make use of Interlibrary Loan to obtain it.

Tip: In a hurry? If the article or book you need is owned by another library in Western New York, you can visit that library and use their resources on site (view a list of Western New York library web sites).

Please note: If you wish to borrow a book from another Western New York library, you can get an InfoPass card at the Reference Desk.

Citing Your Sources


Check with your professor first, but the most commonly used style manual in the English Department is the following:

  • MLA Handbook For Writers of Research Papers (Ref LB2369 .G53 2003b)

This manual is the definitive source, but you will find some online guides as well.

Try a Google search of "MLA Style" to see other guides.

Tip: Please talk to your professor if you have questions about how to cite your sources.