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Literary Studies Research Guide

Learn about resources for literary studies research, and how to find them

What is literary criticism?

Scholarly books, articles, and glasses"Literary criticism is the comparison, analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of works of literature. Literary criticism is essentially an opinion, supported by evidence, relating to theme, style, setting or historical or political context. It usually includes discussion of the work’s content and integrates your ideas with other insights gained from research. Literary criticism may have a positive or a negative bias and may be a study of an individual piece of literature or an author’s body of work."  

Dickinson College Waidner-Spahr Library 


Literary criticism can be found most often in critical books and scholarly articles. Critical books provide in-depth, scholarly, expert analysis of your topic. Scholarly articles also provide expert analysis, and are usually peer-reviewed, a process by which articles are reviewed by other scholars in the same field of study before being published. Peer review is an important step in the scholarly publishing process. To learn more about peer review, watch the video below. 

What is peer review?

Find Literary Criticism

Find literary criticism in both books and journals using the resources below. A complete list of literary criticism databases can be found on the UH Libraries website