This webpage is intended to provide assistance in locating resources you need for you research prospectus and research essay.Your literary time period is classical through the 18th Century, so there is a great deal to select from.
- Ten items (minimum) for your prospectus bibliography
- Reliable critical editions
- Scholarly secondary sources
As you need to examine the social, political, and philosophical time of your work, it is useful to examine a historical timeline. Many timelines are created for K-12 use, but can still provide some framework for your research. An example is this timeline that accompanies the book "A New Literary History of America".
- Internet History Sourcebooks (Note: Medieval history becomes Modern history circa 1500 CE.)
- Norton European Timeline
- Medieval Europe Timeline
- Timeline that accompanies the book "A New Literary History of America"
- Norton American Timeline
The tabs on this page are broken down into broad areas based on information type and useful tools. If you don't see what you need or need more, don't hesitate to ask for help.
Researching criticism or analysis of either a specific work or an author's body of work can feel overwhelming due to the range of resources you will need to examine.Where can you begin?
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help identify what you need:
- Scholarly or popular press sources?
- Scholarly will focus more on the themes, symbols, rhetoric, etc. aspects of the work and may place the work within a larger body of the author's work or compare to works in the same genre.
- Popular press (news magazines and newspapers) will focus more on one individual's opinion or the emotional reaction to a work.
- When doing historical literature criticism, what the popular press published may be applicable to your analysis, but generally popular press will not be suitable for university-level research.
- Contemporary or current analysis?
- By contemporary, this means analysis generated when the work was first published.
- Current analysis is what has been published recently on the work as part of the ongoing and evolving intrepretations.
- e.g., Daniel Defoe's work, Robinson Crusoe, orginally published in 1719, was certainly viewed by society differently than it is today based on our cultural thinking.
- What is the genre (e.g., romance, historical novel, memoir...)?
- How has scholarly regard for this genre changed over time? A good example are graphic novels which are being taken more seriously by scholars in the 21st century and are seen in a different light than what are normally called comic books.
- What is the life experience of the author, how do they see the world as represented in their writing?
- Which scholars have published with a focus on your author, the specific text or the author's time period? Are they regarded as reputable scholars on this topic?
Search terms to locate criticism in the catalog and databases
Starting with the name of the author and title of the work you are analyzing is just scratching the surface. as you work, You will find other terms will uncover useful resources.
- What is the author's geographic, ethnic or racial category? Remember, there can be several terms applied (European or French, Mexican-American, Chicano, Latino...)
- What genre is the author known for? (essayist, science fiction, historian...)
- Does the author have pen names that they have published under (e.g., Samuel Clemens published as Mark Twain). This information can be found in the Contemporary Authors research database.
- What sorts of social or economic issues does this author write about? Who else writes about this topic? Does your author write about this in a realistic manner or do they use symbolism and allegory?
Looking for answers to these questions will give you search terms to begin your research. Keep an open mind to other terminology as you work through the resoruces noted below.
Last Update: January 21, 2014 15:55