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Getting Started Guide: Literary Criticism: Home

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    • Research the author as well as the specific work

    • Research the genre of the book to determine how your author/title fits into the overall scheme

    • Know if you are looking for a review or a criticism

    Criticism/Critical Analysis

    • Are scholarly in nature

    • Are lengthy

    • Discuss works in a broad context, such as political, social, historical, or cultural significance

    • May compare works from the same author, another author or within a particular genre

    • May discuss the work in relation to the author's body of work rather than as a single title

    • May focus on specific aspects including things such as characters, setting, or dialect
    •  May discuss the underlying themes or symbolism of a particular work


    • Provide opinions on the creativity, entertainment, social and cultural value of a book

    • Designed to let a person know if the book is worth reading

    • Usually fairly short, although in some cases they may be longer

    • Are generally found in popular magazines, newspapers and websites, but may be included in book review sections of scholarly journals

    • Generally do not reflect on things like the author's body of work, the genre, themes or focus on specific aspects of the book
    •  See the Getting Started Guide for Book Reviews for more information

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