St. Mary's University
Louis J. Blume Library

Literary Criticism Example

An example from Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800:

(found in the Author Index of our most recently received volume [vol. 54] of this series):



This means that

If you are interested specifically in Anne Bradstreet's poem, "Contemplations", look in the Title Index of our most recently received volume [vol. 42] of the Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800 series (because we know that there is criticism of some Bradstreet's works in volumes 4 and 30 of this series), under the letter "C". You will find the following:



This means that the poem "Contemplations" is at least mentioned on pages 85 and 86, 90 - 93, 95 - 96, 100 - 104, 108, and 112 of volume 4 and on pages 113 - 116, 120 - 125, 142, and 151 - 153 of volume 30 of the Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800 series.

Often the title of the literary work will appear in boldface or italics in the excerpt.

Be sure to note the source of the excerpt (usually listed at the beginning or ending of the excerpt) so that you can try to locate the complete critique.

For example, the source listed at the beginning of the excerpt appearing on pages 113 - 116 of volume 30 of Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800 appears as follows:



  • To verify if we own a journal, or to determine if it is stored in paper, microfiche, or microfilm, check the journal's title in the Periodical Holdings List.
  • You may also verify if the library has a specific journal by using a Title Search for the periodical (source) title in the library catalog. If the library has the periodical, click on the title to  view the item record, and you will see which volumes and in which format the library has the periodical. Periodicals are shelved in alphabetical order on the library's basement (1st) floor.


  • The source listed at the beginning of the excerpt appearing on pages 120 - 125 of volume 30 of Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800 appears as follows:




    We also saw that there is excerpted criticism of Bradstreet's work in Poetry Criticism, volume 10.  Since you are interested in one of her poems, we look in the Cumulative Title Index under "C" and find the following:

     "Contemplations" (Bradstreet)  10:7-8, 19-21,
        27-30, 35, 42, 65

    Again, this means that this poem is at least mentioned on pages 7 - 8, 19 - 21, 27 - 3-, 35, 42, and 65 of volume 10 of Poetry Criticism.

    The procedure is the same as before for determining relevancy and whether we own the source or how or where you might acquire the information. If you have any questions, please ask a Reference Librarian for assistance.



    If you do not find the specific work listed that you are analyzing, there are several other sources you might search.

    + Academic Search Premier

    + Humanities Abstracts

    + MLA International Bibliography
  • other bibliographies (see How to Find Literary Criticism for a few examples)



  • If you still do not find a critique of the work you want to analyze, it might mean that there have not been many critiques published about that work. Perhaps you could forge new ground by writing a critique on that work and getting it published!

    Please send suggestions, additions, and corrections to dduesterhoeft@stmarytx.edu
    created September 21, 1998; updated March 12, 2003
    The URL for this page is http://library.stmarytx.edu/acadlib/subject/english/lcexam.htm


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