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English: Lit Crit

Online and Print Resources for English

What is Literary Criticism?

Literary criticism is more than a plot summary or facts about the author's life. It is an in-depth analysis of a poem, essay, novel, short story or play.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines literary criticism as:

"the art or practice of judging and commenting on the qualities and character of a literary work; consideration or analysis of a text in relation to language, structure, biography, history, etc., or (in later use, freq. with modifying word) by a particular philosophical, political, or linguistic method; (also) an instance of this, esp. in a written form; a school or method of criticizing literature."

Databases - Literary Criticism