Writing a book report about a poem, or play? If so, we can offer some online and print resources to help with your research.
Literary criticism is an informed analysis and evaluation of a work of literature.
Ask your local librarian for help – we’re always glad to recommend resources.
Outline to help you start your research and writing:
What Makes a Good Literature Paper
An overview explaining how to write about literature. Additional essays about writing, such as formatting, can be found in this guide from Purdue's Online Writing Lab.
An outline of steps included in writing a paper. This is a useful, quick reference to getting started and is from the Community College of Baltimore County.
Writing About Literature
A guide on how to write an essay, including an outline of the elements, the writing process, citation and more. A resource from Norton's introduction to literature Study Space.
The Pratt Library has several resources for your literary criticism assignment.
A librarian can help you locate books in the Pratt Library Catalog by author, title, or subject. Books include literary works (texts), author biographies, and literary criticism. There are also dictionaries for words related to poetry and literary movements.
Databases can help you find journal and reference book articles on your topic. You can search databases in any Pratt Library and from home with a Pratt Library card. Articles are also available in print journals in the Periodicals Department.
For Literary Criticism:
- Literary Sources: Artemis
- Virtual Reference Library, (Gale)
For reviews, new and older:
- National Newspapers
- Historical Newspapers
For biographical information:
- Biography in Context
If you’re in looking for the text of an African American work:
- Black Drama
- Black Short Fiction
- African American Poetry, 1750-1990
- African American Poetry, Twentieth Century
Poetry Foundation’s Learning Lab
Provides a great deal of information, including biographies, poetry and theory.
RPO: Representative Poetry Online
Compilation of criticism specific poems, plus famous essays and poems about poetry from the University of Toronto Libraries.
For information about poetry the following the following web sites provide poems, resources for teachers, and an array of articles.
These two web sites discuss how to write a review of a play:
The Owl Online Writing Lab, offers help for the following topics:
Style manuals are set guidelines on how to prepare a research paper. The guidelines include the paper’s format and how citations are created. You can find the guidelines listed below online or at your local library. The following online tips are from Purdue's Online Writing Lab.
Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (APA)
Used for psychology, business, education, and other social sciences.
Used for history, literature, and the arts.
The Modern Language Association (MLA) Style Manual
Used for literature.
If you need more help finding literary criticism, e-mail us through our Ask-A-Librarian service, call us at (410) 396-5487 or mail your question to:
Enoch Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore MD 21201