Basic Steps:

  1. Use the Library Catalog to find books of criticism.
  2. Use sets of books containing selected criticism.
  3. Find criticism in journal articles.

To Find Journal Articles with Literary Criticism

Choose from the list of databases on the library's English and Literature web page, for example MLA International Bibliography, Humanities Full Text, or ProjectMuse.

To Find Books About (Not By) Writers

Search the Library Catalog.

Examples of Advanced Searches:

  • twain AND criticism
  • dickinson emily AND criticism

Criticism of literature by type can be found with an Advanced Search.

  • Asian American literature (as a phrase)
    AND
    criticism
  • African American poetry (as a phrase)
    AND
    criticism

To Find Selected Criticism in Sets of Books

Many sets of books offer excerpts of critical essays. Consult theLiterary Index to find criticism in the following sets. Biographical information on authors from Contemporary Authors is also available from the library's web pages.

Examples of sets indexed here:

  • Asian American Literature Ref PS153.A84 A82
  • Black Literature Criticism Ref PS153.N5 B556
  • Black Writers Ref PN490 .B53
  • Children's Literature Review Shelved in the IML, 136 Doudna Hall. IML/Reference PN1009.A1 C5139
  • Contemporary Authors Ref PN451 .C65
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism Ref PN771 .C59
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography Ref PS21 .D5
  • Drama Criticism Checklist of criticism, sending you to another source. Ref PN1707 .C65
  • Hispanic Writers Ref PQ7081.3 .H58
  • Latino and Latina Writers Ref PS153 .H56 L39
  • Native North American Literature Ref PS508.I5 N38
  • Short Story Criticism Ref PN3373 .S56
  • Something About the Author Covers children's writers and illustrators. Shelved in the IML, 136 Doudna Hall. IML/Reference PN451 .S6
  • Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism Ref PN771 .G27
  • Yesterday's Authors of Books for Children Shelved in the IML, 136 Doudna Hall. IML/Reference PN451.Y4

The library offers the following critical sources, but they are not covered by the Contemporary Authorsindexes mentioned above.

  • American Women Writers Ref PS147 .A4
  • American Writers Ref PS129 .A55
  • Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults IML Ref PN1009 .A1 B85
  • British Writers Ref PR85 .B688
  • Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism Ref PN610 .C53
  • Critical Survey of Short Fiction Ref PN3321 .C7
  • Critical Temper English and American Literature from the beginnings to 1900. Ref PR83 .C764
  • Encyclopedia of German Literature Ref PT41 .E63
  • Magill's Literary Annual (1977 to date) Ref PN44 .M35
  • Masterplots Ref PN44 .M33
  • Masterplots II: American Fiction Series Ref PN846 .M37
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism Ref PN761 .N5
  • Reference Guide to Russian Literature Ref PG2940 .R44
  • Research Guide to Biography and Criticism Ref PR85 .R4
  • Shakespearean Criticism Ref PR2965 .S43

Drama Criticism

  • Critical Survey of Drama (in English) Ref PR625 .C74
  • Drama Criticism Ref PN1601 .D59
  • Major Modern Dramatists Ref PN1861 .M27
  • Masterplots II: Drama Series Ref PN6112.5 .M37

Poetry Criticism

  • Contemporary Poets Ref PR603 .C6
  • Critical Survey of Poetry: English Language Series Ref PN1111 .C7
  • Critical Survey of Poetry: Foreign Language Series Ref PN1021 .C7

Interlibrary Loan

Materials not available in the Karrmann Library may be requested through interlibrary loan.

For Assistance

  • Ask at the Reference Desk
  • Call 342-1668 or Toll free: 1-888-450-4632
  • E-mail: Ask a Librarian!

Branch Information

Baraboo Sauk County Campus:
T.N. Savides Library


Richland Campus:
Miller Memorial Library

Ask A Librarian

Stop by the Reference Desk or call 608.342.1668


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