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ENGL 101 - Sally Olivas - Spring 2013  

Last Updated: Feb 4, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is Literary Criticism?

· LITERARY CRITICISM IS the comparison, analysis, interpretation and evaluation of authors and their works of literature, which can include novels, short stories, essays, plays and poetry.

· Such critical analysis is often written by literary critics and is found in scholarly articles and books.

· Literary "criticism" is not necessarily negative; "criticism" means a thoughtful critique of an author's work in order to better understand the meaning, symbolism or influences of a particular piece or a body of literature.

· Literary criticism is not simply a plot summary or an author’s biography, or even a book review. Book reviews are often short descriptive evaluations that come out around the time the book is originally published. Literary criticism is usually longer and more scholarly and is not necessarily about an entire book, but may be about a short story, a poem, etc.


Short Stories

The library has sufficient literary criticism, in databases and books, for research on any of the stories you can choose for your assignment:

The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien

The Black Cat - Edgar Allan Poe

Desiree's Baby - Kate Chopin

The Lesson - Toni Cade Bambara

Cat in the Rain - Ernest Hemingway


Your Assignment - Don't Forget

1. 5-7 critical essays must be cited.

2. They cannot be excerpts or parts of larger articles.

3. They must each be at least 2 pages in length.

4. A photocopy of each source must be submitted with your paper.


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