Literary Criticism is the study, evaluation, or interpretation of literature. Literary criticism is used for essays, discussions, or in-depth book reviews of authors and their works. This page will help you discover all of sources for literary criticism that Spokane Public Library has to offer, including circulating books, reference sources, and online subscription databases.
The library has many books of literary criticism on well-known authors or titles that can be checked out. The easiest way to find such items is to do a Subject Keyword search with the author's name and the word "criticism". For example:
Search results will often include Cliffs Notes and Barron's Book Notes, which give plot summaries and some criticism. Some of these guides may be available in electronic versions; ask at the Reference Desk at any library to find out how to access these sources.
Criticism on William Shakespeare is a special case because this is such a large subject. Shakespeare criticism is arranged by the name of the play in the call number 822.33.
Many authors who do not have separate books of literary criticism on them can be found in the following reference sources:
The following books and sets can be found in the Reference area of the Downtown Library:
There are other specialized literary criticism reference sets at the Downtown Library, such as for African American writers or for Science Fiction. There are also a few sets specifically for writers of children's literature.
Magazines can be a useful source of book reviews and author information, especially for newer authors. Some in-depth book reviews, such as from the New York Times Book Review, are a good source of literary criticism. Many book reviews can be found full text in the following magazine databases. To access these from outside of the library, you will need a city resident library card.
For older dates, you will need to look in the following reference sets at the Downtown Library:
When searching for literary criticism on the Internet, you need to look for reliable internet sites that will give you authoritative, up-to-date information. One good source for an overview of literary criticism is the Internet Public Library's Literary Criticism page. This will link you to their Online Literary Criticism Guide, which lists many trustworthy online sources for literary criticism.
There are also online book review sources. The New York Times has their book reviews from 1981 onward available online for free, but you will need to sign up for their service.
For local reviews and authors, try searching The Inlander archives.
There are online sources, as well as books, for formats for bibliography citations. Seattle Central Community College Library lists several citation formats. Long Island University Library offers a similar list. You can also find specialized citation internet sites, such as the one on Citing Government Information Sources from the University of Nevada.
Spokane Public Library has the following citation guides in book format: MLA Handbook, Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), and The Chicago Manual of Style.
If you need help with how to write a term paper, the following style guides will help: The Gregg Reference Manual, Strunk and White's Elements of Style, and the Harbrace College Handbook. There are also books on report writing, thesis writing, and doing research. Just ask at a Ask a Librarian if you need help finding these.
A good online source for technical writing is Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students from Penn State.