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ENG 3343/5423 (Simmons): American Literature II   Tags: english, literary criticism, short stories  

Last Updated: Oct 2, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page



Finding Literary Criticism

Finding literary criticism can prove to be challenging.  However, there are several library resources at your disposal that will aid you in your search. 

Search Strategy

A good first step in locating literary research is refining your search terms.  See the example below.


Student is looking for literary criticism on Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"

Search Terms

"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" "Flannery O'Connor" literary criticism


  • Put your work of literature in quotation marks.  This tells the database that you want it to only return results where the search terms are in that exact order.  This can be particularly helpful if your the words in your short story are common or could refer to a popular culture term or phrase.
  • Include the author's name, also in quotation marks.  This increases the likelihood that results returned will match your particular short story.
  • It's a good idea to put "literary criticism" in your search string, also.  Some of the databases use strict subject terminology, so including this phrase will help to filter out results that are not criticism.

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