Source: "Literary Criticism 2: Step into the Scholarly Conversation" by Holman Library is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0Part 2 of 2: Learn how to research what scholars are saying about your literary work and/or author.
The databases below all contain scholarly literary criticism. If an option, limit to scholarly peer-reviewed journals.
See the image below for more details.
You can limit your One Search to scholarly (peer-reviewed) journal articles. Just select Peer Reviewed Journals from the results page.
Literary "criticism" is not necessarily negative; "criticism" means a thoughtful critique of an author's work or an author's style in order to better understand the meaning, symbolism or influences of a particular piece or a body of literature.
Literary critical analysis may be written for the general public, students or a scholarly audience.
Popular literary criticism is written for the general public or for students. Local newspapers, such as the Seattle Times, and magazines, such as Entertainment Weekly or O, contain book reviews. Introductory articles, such as the Topic Overviews found in the database, Gale Literary Sources, are written for students.
Scholarly literary criticism is generally found in scholarly literary journals, such as Critique or The Journal of Ethnic Fiction, as well as in books. A scholarly journal is peer-reviewed if articles that are published in it go through a rigorous review process by other experts in the field.
Scholarly literary criticism engages with a written work in a thoughtful, sophisticated and sustained manner. While literary criticism from a reference book provides you with introductory terminology, context, interpretation and more, scholarly criticism goes deeper.
Scholarly literary criticism analyzes and builds on specific passages, characters, themes, language, etc. from a written work.
Scholarly literary criticism brings the critic's particular theoretical framework, biases, questions, etc to bear upon the text.
Articles are written by scholars in a subject area for an academic or professional audience. Check for author affiliations or credentials in the database record or at the beginning or end of an article.
Scholarly literary criticism may be extensively cited, if the author references the work of other thinkers. Some scholarly literary criticism engages primarily and closely with the text itself, rather than with other the ideas of other scholars. (Scholarly articles in the sciences and social sciences are, as a rule, extensively and thoroughly cited.)
There is no one correct scholarly reading of a text. That said, be sure to build your own analysis with examples and support from the written work you're analyzing as well as the scholarly article with which you are "conversing."
For sustained and deeper literary criticism, find relevant scholarly articles in library databases.
Build your own conversation, integrating sources and voices that participate in your original analysis.
When you do research on current authors and works, sometimes there has not yet been a lot written about them. That's okay!
Scholarship represents your original thinking about a text or theme in literature. As part of your analysis you can integrate relevant sources, even if they are not about your specific text. Think about:
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Example: The highlighted sections of this article abstract (I would then read the whole article) might support an analysis of another novel or short story that explores how women navigate different spaces of religion, nation, and identity by claiming the veil as a symbol that both excludes them and allows them to define a new space
"literary analysis" OR "literary criticism" OR "criticism AND interpretation"