This is the "GETTING STARTED" page of the "LITERARY CRITICISM" guide.
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This guide is designed to provide resources to literary criticism in general.
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates


Literary Criticism or Book Review?

Students in Critical Thinking/Writing and Honors Critical Thinking/Writing classes as well as the advanced literaure classes are familiar with argument and literature.  Literary Criticism and book reviews are at times interchangeable.  However, the two can be distinguished as:

Literary Criticism -  the method or art of evaluating, interpreting, analyzing, comparing the quality, text, character, structure of a work of literature.  It explores the meaning in the work, the thesis of the work, the writer's purpose.

Book Review - the method of examination or reporting on the content, style, usefulness of a usually recently published work of literature.  It sometimes addresses what is the work about - its main points, what are the major strengths and weaknesses of the work, how does the work compare or rate to others in the same field or genre, and should this work be recommended for use/reading. 

On some occasions, book reviews take on a more critical analysis that blur the difference between a book review and a literary criticism.  Some book reviews are examined in-depth in such publications as The New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, London Review of Books, among many.  


Keyword Search

Under keyword search where you may find more results, select your genre, author, period or literary work then add either of the following:

critical essays

critical interpretation(s)


criticism and interpretation

history and criticism 

literary criticism

literary form

liiterary symbolism

literary interpretation

political and social views (may also try other views)

textual criticism 

Example:  Shakespeare(an) history and criticism 

                African American literary criticism

                Melville critical interpretations 


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