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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

Literary Criticism: Getting Started

A guide to finding critical material about literary works

On This Page: Reference

The best way to start a research project is by reading overviews of your topic. An overview is a text that summarizes the basic facts about your topic (Encyclopedias, textbooks, study guides).

An overview is just a starting point. Don't cite overviews. They don't provide any original information, only a condensed summary of what other people have said about the topic. Instead, read the overview and write down clues that you could search for in Quest or the library databases, to find sources that you can cite. You might find important names of people, places, and things, as well as other keywords or sources to search for.

This page has great examples of reference books for the following:

Theory & Terms     ♦     General Criticism     ♦     Drama & Poetry     ♦     Genre Fiction

 

Can't find what you're looking for? Check out these guides or ask your librarian for more help!

Linguistics     ♦     English     ♦     Theatre & Dance

Theory & Terms

Drama & Poetry

Genre Fiction