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Dual Credit ENGL 2322/2323

Literature Research Basics

When researching literature, you'll be looking for a variety of source types depending on how you are analyzing your work of literature:

Type of Source How to Use it
Biographies Background information on the author can be useful in making connections between the author's personal experiences and the work of literature.
Summaries Summaries serve as a refresher on the plot and characters of the literary work.
Criticism Scholarly criticism provides an analysis or interpretation of literature based on concepts such as theme, style, setting, historical context, etc. Use the information from criticism to support your own arguments about the literary work.
Reviews Reviews usually provide a brief summary and opinion on the quality of the literary work. Typically, these reviews are only found on works written in the last 100 or so years. These can provide insight into how the book was received by critics when it was first published.
History Historical events at the time the work was written or set can provide insight into the literary work.

Research Tips

Boolean Searching

Use BOOLEAN SEARCHING to improve your search results in the research databases. Using the boolean operators AND, OR, & NOT will make you a more successful researcher.