What is Literary Criticism?
Before you can find literary criticism, it is important to know what it is.
Literary criticism is an in-depth analysis of a literary work: book, book chapter, essay, novel, short story, play, or poem. These articles usually are published in scholarly journals as opposed to popular magazines and newspapers.
Use this guide to find sources of literary criticism available both in print and electronically from ACC libraries.
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Reading how other people have evaluated a novel, short story, play or poem can help you define your own views.
Criticism doesn't substitute for reading the original work because it won't give a detailed plot summary. However it can help you understand the main points of a story and identify the significant parts.
Many critical sources discuss an author's overall writing and may not even mention the specific work you have read. This is especially true for poems and short stories. This sort of criticism can still be useful if you apply the overall interpretation of an author to your particular work.