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ENG 102: Prof. Tonia Payne: Literature Criticism Databases

What is a Database?

database is a collection of articles, book chapters and other information from reliable sources.

Select one of the databases listed in the right hand column to locate critical analysis of the work you are examining.

Databases all look little different but have the same functions- look around for the tool bars. Articles from the databases may be printed, saved to a drive or emailed for later use.  

All of the resources in these databases come from magazines, newspapers, journals and books. Although they are delivered through the Internet, they are not considered "Internet Sources" by your professors. 

Literary Criticism Search Tips

In literary criticism and analysis databases, it is best to enter the author's name with the title of the work.  From there you can limit your results to criticism (or analysis) in the limiters section of the page.

You will see terms such as "limit by" or "search within results".  Use these to make your search more precise. Further some databases have a "subjects" limiter. You can use the "subjects" limit to help you find additional terms or check it off to limit your results. 

Literary Criticism Databases

What is Literary Criticism and Analysis? 

Literary Criticism and Analysis examines the themes of bodies of work and often looks at the author's experiences and different works by that author to discover the meaning or intent of the author. Literary criticism and analysis is not a plot summary or review nor is it the critics opinion of the work studied. 

The library has a collection of databases for you to examine Literary Criticisms:

Literature Resource Center

For articles about a specific novel, short story, play, etc., we can search English Literature Criticism databases specifically.  This will help us find articles written by qualified literary scholars, which will help you write about themes, characters, etc. You will blend your reading and analysis of the work with the views of experts and come up with your own unique argument about a specific aspect (thesis) regarding the literary work you are studying.

A link to Literature Resource Center is located on this page.


Navigate to the Works Search to enter the title of a work and find criticism and overviews of that literary work, or use Person Search to bring up all of the articles about a certain author.

Make sure you use the search box underneath "Works Search" or "Person Search" and type in the name and view the articles (the database will give you a page of similar titles, so just make sure you find the correct title and author for a book, etc., because some books or stories have similar titles or renditions.