Using Books

When you get to the point of your research when you need to read the interpretations of others, books--especially edited volumes--can help you to:

  1. Learn what specialized topics have been discussed regarding your subject
  2. Understand which theories and outside disciplines have been applied to your subject, such as feminist theory

Books can be very long, but you don't have to read the whole thing! Simply looking at a table of contents, an index, or chapter bibliographies can give you a lot of insight as to whether a book or chapter will be useful to you, and you can check out a book and only read one chapter.

Also be sure to browse the shelves around the books you need: you will find other relevant research!

Books in the Library

Suggested Search Terms

The books listed above are meant to give historical overviews of certain genres, time periods, and locations as well as an introduction to literary criticism.

To find books on history and criticism that are more specific to your topic, please consider using the terms below, or contact your librarian for help.

  • YOUR TOPIC (Such as American literature -- 19th century) -- History and criticism
  • American literature
  • Characters and characteristics in literature
  • Criticism
  • Feminist literary criticism
  • Literature, Ancient
  • Literature, Experimental
  • Literature, Medieval
  • Literature, Modern
    • You can add -- CENTURY (such as 19th century) after this term
  • Literature -- Women authors
  • Marxist criticism
  • Popular literature
  • Surrealism (Literature)
  • Underground literature

This list is by no means exhaustive. Try searching for your time period or genre in USearch and checking the Subjects on the side.

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