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Literary Criticism

This Research Guide lists library and online resources related to finding literary criticism.

Using This Guide

Literary Criticism

"Literary criticism" is the term used for the analysis and evaluation of literature (which, in English studies, generally means novels/novellas, short stories, poems, plays, and literary essays). Use the information in this research guide to find articles and books that contain literary criticism, as well as overview information on authors and their works.

Pen and magnifying glass on book

Photo by João Silas via Unsplash

Starting Your Research

Start with these literature databases to search for critical articles:

Searching Library Databases

Use these tips and search examples to find literary criticism in Library databases:

Connect keywords with AND.

Use author's last name only. (Spelling counts!)

Put quotation marks around titles that contain more than one word.

  • Woolf AND "A Room of One's Own"
  • Hawthorne AND "The Scarlet Letter"
  • Browning AND "Aurora Leigh"
  • Sophocles AND Antigone

If you are finding too many articles that are not literary criticism (e.g., book or film reviews), try adding the word criticism to your search:

  • Shelley AND Frankenstein AND criticism

Or, look for limiters on your search results screen to help focus in on what you want.

Online Access

Paw: Indicates that a password is needed to access the resource from off campus.The username and password to access databases is the same as what you use to log in to myPittCC and Moodle. The username is your entire myPittCC email address ( 

Community logins are available to Pitt County residents with PCC library cards and others who are enrolled in or are affiliated with PCC programs and continuing education courses. Scroll down and look for the "Community Login" section.