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ENGL 1302 Readings: Literary Research

This guide contains readings from the TCC Library collections and online literature resources to support ENGL 1302 classes. For questions, please contact or your library liaison.

Doing Literary Research

Citing credible sources that support your thesis statement strengthens your literary analysis paper. You need to use the TCC Library to find this type of information. Fortunately, there are many resources available that are easy to use. 

You will look for essays, articles, and books written by experts on your authors and their writing.

For books, please see the TCC catalog on the library homepage.

"In the Library" will limit your catalog search to print books, and "Ebooks" will find online books you can access from off-campus. One of the fastest ways to get to the information you need is to search on either the name of the work you are analyzing OR the name of your author. If you add the word "criticism" to your search, it will help you find information analyzing that author's work. For example, the search shown below will find online books analyzing Shirley Jackson's work. Remember that you have access to all online library resources by logging in with your TCC email address and password.

Searching the Catalog


For articles and essays, there are a number of databases specifically designed for literary criticism research. These databases often identify literary criticism resources for you. Click on the tabs below to learn more about each database.

To find the full list of literary criticism databases, go to the library homepage and click on the red Browse Subjects button on the right side of the page in the TCC Article Databases box. 


Choose Literature Criticism and Interpretation from the dropdown list. You will then see the list of databases that will help with your literary analysis paper. Scroll down to see our database recommendations.

Recommended Literary Criticism Databases

Literary Sources by Gale (Gale Literature) is a single interface that lets you search all of the Gale literature databases from one search box. Make sure you choose the Advanced Search. This will help you narrow your results to the most relevant. 

Gale Literature

In the Advanced Search, type out the title of your work in the middle box. Do NOT let the database auto fill. Because this one search box pulls results from multiple repositories, you can quickly lose results because the repositories categorize articles in different ways. 

Type out search terms in the advanced search

Depending on the number of results you get, you may want to go back and adjust and narrow your search by adding a character or a theme to the first search box. 

 Bloom's Literature contains literary criticism and biographical information about famous authors that originally appeared in books and other resources edited by Harold Bloom, a famous scholar of literary criticism. The search here is straightforward. Put your author or the name of the work in the search box. If your research assignment gives you the option to pick any author or work, the author index in Bloom's can help you find authors by nationality, genre, and/or time period. 


JSTOR contains a variety of subjects, but it is a good source for literary criticism as well as criticism of movies, television shows, and theatre productions. Search on title of work and author or director to find the most relevant information. 

Like JSTOR, ProQuest is a large database with some literary criticism in it. ProQuest is updated daily, making it a good source for newspaper reviews of very recent books, movies, television shows, and theatre productions as well as scholarly articles and books on classic works. 


The quality of your literary analysis depends on the quality of your sources. Use the CAARP Test to help you choose credible sources. 

Need Help?

If you have any questions as you are working on your literary research paper, please remember that you have access to resources to assist you.