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ENC 1102 - Niedbalec: ENC1102 Literary Criticism Resources

This guide contains information on library resources for the literature topics and research papers requires for this course.

Literary Criticism and Analysis

The resources found on this page are excellent resources for literary criticism and literary analysis assignments.  These resources are found in printed books located at the HCC libraries or as electronic books accessed through the HCC library databases.  If you need assistance with accessing any of these materials, please contact your librarian.


Video Instruction

The following video introduces you to how to use library online systems to find and access literature resources for your literary assignments.

NOTE: If you are prompted to log-in follow the prompts to enter your NET ID and NET ID Password.

Books and eBooks


The books listed below are a sample of the type of literature criticism sources available in the HCC Libraries.  Use the HCC Library Online Catalog to search for literary criticism and analysis based on your story, author and assignment criteria.

Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints

The PDF files below provide helpful search strategies when using the literature databases.  If you have any questions or need further assistance, do not hesitate to contact your librarian.

Resources for Short Stories

Resources for Poetry

Resources for Drama

Suggested Search Terms to Use

Search Term Suggestions

The following search terms will assist you in locating literary criticisms located at the HCC libraries using the HCC Library Online Catalog.  


"Ernest Hemingway" AND "A Clean Well-Lighted Place"

Type in an author or story title name, use the next search term box in the Advanced Search screen and type criticism to find literary criticism on a specific author or story title.

The following example is for a specific story title or character name.  This is effective search term usage that will bring up solid results quickly.

"Flannery O'Connor" 

AND Hulga


Literary Database Tips

Bloom's Literature

This is a great database to browse.  At the Home Page, under Most Studied Authors, choose the View All option. The authors covered in this database will be shown and listed here in alphabetical order.  Look for your author, such as O'Connor, and choose the author's name.  Open the result Header called Literary Works and look for your story title.

screenshot of the search terms and results for Bloom's Literature database.  Searched for O'Connor, Flannery and chose the criticism section in the results



Gale eBooks

This database is a collection of eBooks on a variety of topics.  The best way to use this database is to type in your keyword search term(s) and under More Options > to Collection > Literature.  See picture below for a sample:

Screenshot of Advanced Search page with "Hawthorne, Nathaniel" typed in the first search box

Gale Literature Criticism

This literary database is a great tool to find resources on themes, figure of speech and symbolism.  Below is a sample search term entry.

Screenshot of the Advanced Search page with death AND dying AND "Emily Dickinson" as the search terms.

Gale Literature

Ways to use Gale Literature

  1. Use the Works Search option.Screenshot of Gale Literature Database Works Search page
  2. Type the name of your short story, novel or poem.
    1. Results page will show you how many records are available.
      1. Records include:
        1. Biographies
        2. Work Summaries and Overviews
        3. Literary Criticisms
        4. Primary Sources of Works


JSTOR is an article database that is also very good to use for literature research.  Here are two simple tips when JSTOR.

1.  Use the Advanced Search option

Screenshot of JSTOR Advanced Search page

2.  After the results populate, narrow results by using the  Subject filter.  Choose Language and Literature.

Screenshot of Subject filter heading

Screenshot of Language and Literature filter option box checked

Literary Reference Center Plus

When using this database, sometimes searching for the story title as the keyword search term develops the best results.  Remember, DO NOT use reviews as a source for literary criticisms. Use Plot Summaries, Overviews, Literary Criticisms types of sources.  

Screenshot of Source Types option box


Literature (Salem Press)

Salem Press is a large book publisher.  Many of these books are in both print and eBook versions.  The Salem Press database provides access to the ebook versions.

Screenshot of Literature Table of Contents in Salem Online database

Use the Search box to locate resources for your author or playwright.  

Very Short Introductions

Published by Oxford University Press, Very Short Introductions introduce students to a topic, concept or in literature, authors and literary themes, genres and styles.  The text is written in short, clear and concise terminology for easy understanding. The online database version also provides greater access.  Titles are available in Print as well.