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ENGB05: Critical Writing about Literature

A guide to assist ENGB05 students with finding and using library resources to complete a major literary research essay.

Useful Online Literary Reference Sources

The following Encycolpedias, Guides and Dictionaries will be useful to students wishing to further explore literary themes, theories or criticial perspectives.  They are also useful for learning more about specific literary terms

Literary Encyclopedia

The Literary Encyclopedia is an expanding global literary reference work written by over 1850 specialists from universities around the world, and currently provides more than 4800 authoritative profiles of authors, works and literary and historical topics and grows by over 60 articles per month. The Encyclopedia offers good coverage of canonical literature originally written in English, French, German and Russian.

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism 

Compiled by 275 specialists from around the world, the Guide presents a comprehensive historical survey of the field's most important figures, schools, and movements and is updated annually. It includes more than 300 alphabetically arranged entries and subentries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods.

The Oxford Companion to English Literature

The Oxford Companion to English Literature has long been established as the leading reference resource for students, teachers, scholars, and general readers of English literature. It provides unrivalled coverage of all aspects of English literature ― from writers, their works, and the historical and cultural context in which they wrote, to critics, literary theory, and allusions.

The Oxford Companion to American Literature

The Oxford Companion to American Literature contains over 2,000 biographical profiles of important American authors (with information regarding their style, subjects, and major works) and influential foreign writers as well as other figures who have been important in the nation's social and cultural history. There are more than 1,100 full summaries of important American novels, stories, essays, poems (with verse form noted), plays, biographies and autobiographies, tracts, narratives, and histories.

Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

Containing over 1,000 of the most troublesome literary terms encountered by students and general readers, this gem of a book gives clear and often witty explanations to terms such as hypertext, multi-accentuality, and postmodernism. It is fully updated to include terms that have become prominent in the last few years, including antanaclasis, cohesion, focalization, log-rolling, and raisonneur. Terms from languages and literature other than English are given, as are pronunciation guides for over 200 difficult terms.