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Literary Criticism Research: Home

For students of English 1B and others who want to access literary research at West Valley College and beyond

Welcome LitCrit students

The purpose of this guide is to help you gather information for your literary criticism/theory project Visit the tabs above, check out what we have and call/visit us if you have any questions.

Literary Theory definitions

You may be assigned to analyze the literature from a particular perspective. There are many schools of literary theory and depending on the piece of literature you are critiqueing, you may be using one of the following more popular schools of thought:

  • Historical criticism
  • Feminist criticism
  • Gender and Queer Theory
  • Psychological criticism
  • Reader-response criticism
  • Mythological Criticism
  • Structuralism or Semiotics

To read more, go to the "Dictionaries and Encyclopedias" tab and read more about each of these terms in the books listed on the left. Also, visit Purdue University's OWL Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism page to get an overview of these theories and others.

Tips for Success

  • When you find a good source (book, article, web page), record the title, author, and other bibliographic info (journal title, web address, etc.).
  • Take notes from your sources.
  • As you read, mark the parts you might like to quote in your paper.
  • Keep organized. Keep a binder with copies of articles, your notes, and drafts of your outline.