Online resources

Go to our Books and Reading category of learning resources. Specifically:

  • Are you looking for basic commentary and criticism? You'll want to begin with Salem Online for understanding plots and characters, genre and author overviews, and deeper dives into some specific works.
  • Gale Ebooks is your next stop. There are hundreds of volumes covering writers and works of literature. This widens your view with a variety of critical responses to a work over time.
  • For a quick check into aspects of the study of literature, as well as looking up references to myths, legends, settings, etc. go to Oxford Reference. The almost 50 volumes in the literature subject include works on individual authors, such as Chaucer.
  • If you are also looking for primary sources (novels, short stories, poetry, drama, essays, etc.), you can search older titles on your curriculum reading list in LitFinder and possibly find the full text online.


In the catalog you will find books to check out, reference books that are online, and reference books that can be used in-library only.

In the search box (with “by keyword” selected to the right), type the name of the author you are researching and the word criticism. For example: emily dickinson criticism

Biographies of writers sometimes contain literary criticism. In the search box, enter the author’s name followed by and biography. For example: jack kerouac biography

An introduction or forward to a collection of works can be a valuable source of criticism. If there are too many search results to look through, add the word collected to your search to help you find an edited volume likely to have a good introduction. For example, modernist poetry collected

  • Last Updated Aug 11, 2022
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