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Critical analysis of a work of literature is not the same as a summary. A summary gives an overview of the setting, plot, characters and major themes. Critical analysis is the author's interpretation of how those elements work together toward creating meaning in the literary work.
You will find both summaries and critiques in the library's literature databases. Use the summaries to help you get your thoughts in order. However, you should not be citing summaries in a research paper.
When writing your own analysis, imagine you are writing for someone who has already read the work of literature. You do not need to retell major plot points. Instead, you are explaining how different pieces work together to support your thesis or interpretation.
A unique overview of the period following the Civil War through the emergence of the United States as a world power at the end of World War I. Subjects include: political topics (Reform, Women's Suffrage); ideas in context (Scientific Materialism, Darwinism); values (Assimilation, Success); society (Labor, Mass Marketing); genres (Science Fiction, War Writing); popular entertainment (Baseball, Boxing); publishing (Scribner's Magazine); works of literature and nonfiction ("Billy Budd," "The Theory of the Leisure Class"); and much more.
For more than half a century, James D. Hart's The Oxford Companion to American Literature has been an unparalleled guide to America's literary culture, providing one of the finest resources to this country's rich history of great writers. Now this acclaimed work has been completely revised and updated to reflect current developments in the world of American letters. With over 5,000 total entries, The Oxford Companion to American Literature reflects a dynamic balance between past and contemporary literature, surveying virtually every aspect of our national literature, from the Pulitzer Prize to pulp fiction, and from Walt Whitman to William F. Buckley, Jr. There are over 2,000 biographical profiles of important American authors (with information regarding their styles, subjects, and major works) and influential foreign writers as well as other figures who have been important in the nation's social and cultural history. There are more than 1,100 full summaries of important American novels, stories, essays, poems (with verse form noted), plays, biographies and autobiographies, tracts, narratives, and histories. The new edition provides historical background and astute commentary on literary schools and movements, literary awards, magazines, newspapers, and a wide variety of other matters directly related to writing in America. Finally, the book is thoroughly cross-referenced and features an extensive and fully updated index of literary and social history.
Books and Ebooks
Find books and ebooks about an author, work or theme. The library has a great collection of print resources. The information you need cannot all be found online.
Research authors and their works, literary movements and genres. Search across Gale's Literature databases to find full text of literary works, journal articles, literature criticism, reviews, biographical information and overviews. Includes content from Gale's Literature Resource Center, Twayne's Authors, LitFinder, and Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Content largely derives from the social sciences and humanities with more than 2,000 academic journals and over 20,000 books. JSTOR is an interdisciplinary archive of scholarly journals in both digital and print formats, generally from the first volume through issues published prior to the most recent three to five years.
The collection includes full text for more than 1,400 journals, with citations to over 3.5 million articles, including book reviews. Provides full text—plus abstracts and bibliographic indexing—for scholarly sources in the humanities, including feature articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, original works of fiction, drama and poetry, book reviews, and reviews of ballets, dance programs, motion pictures, musicals, operas, plays, radio and television programs.