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Literary Criticism 

(noun) the art or practice of judging and commenting on the qualities and character of literary works.


  Literary criticism is the evaluation, analysis, description, or interpretation of literary works. It is usually in the form of a critical essay, but in-depth book reviews can sometimes be considered literary criticism. Criticism may examine a particular literary work, or may look at an author's writings as a whole. Finding literary criticism can be challenging.


Where to Find Academic Sources of Literary Criticism


From the MHS Library page ( you will find:


1.   Library Catalog


                        Search for books on the MHS Library shelves - use your author’s name and/or the title in keywords. Do an enhanced search (use author’s name OR title AND criticism and label all the categories “anywhere”). Some of your results may be ebooks or videos, check the Search the Catalog link on the left for more information!


2.   Databases

General Interest/ Reference



            With Gale Virtual Reference Library you can browse, search and download eBook articles anytime from any Internet-connected device. The eBooks you can access are digitally reproduced from trusted, authoritative reference works.


EXPLORA for Secondary Students (meshinf/mhslib1!)

            EBSCO's EXPLORA for Secondary Schools makes it easy for students to search by keyword or by topic to find the most useful search results. 


OXFORD REFERENCE (metboe/metboe)

            Use quotation marks around names and phrases so it groups them together in your search. Be aware of the Books and Entries tabs at the top of tour results.



Literature and Music


BLOOM'S LITERATURE (29305000443887)

                This resource contains more than 20,000 critical essays from over 500 literary journals and 2,300 scholarly and critical books, including 700 titles published by Bloom's Literary Criticism and Facts On File. Also included in the database are more than 13,000 biographies, 45,000 character entries, 5,000 synopses of literary works and hundreds of images and videos.



            Choose from list of databases after log in. Literary Reference Center™ is a comprehensive database that provides users with a broad spectrum of information on thousands of authors and their works across literary disciplines and timeframes. It has been specifically designed for public libraries, secondary schools, junior/community colleges, and undergraduate research. Literary Reference Center is a full-text database that combines information from thousands of major respected reference works, books, and literary journals as well as original content from EBSCO Publishing. Content includes thousands of plot summaries, essays of literary criticism, author biographies, book reviews, classic and contemporary poems, classic and contemporary short stories, and author interviews.


Magazines and Newspapers


EBSCOhost WEB  ((meshinf/mhslib1!)

            Click EBSCOhostWeb and choose MasterFILE Premier and Academic Search Premier from the databases listed.  Use “ “ and the word and to link phrases and concepts to make your searches more specific.



            Use the Basic or Advanced search to find New York Times and New York Times Magazine articles. Be very specific and use the narrowing and sorting options to get rid of irrelevant results. Read carefully – there will be reviews as well as criticism along with a variety of other references to your author or book in articles that will end up in your results.