This slideshow provides a brief introduction to literary analysis research.
Structural elements like plot, characters, symbolism, etc. are the building blocks from which authors construct texts. Formalists consider how structural elements of the text contribute to the author’s message. Use the Elements of Literature Checklist to keep track of the elements of texts and how they're used.
Use the Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms to look up terms to enhance your reading and writing of literary criticism.
Postmodern critical approaches to literature recognize that literature, like most human activities, is social and can be understood from multiple points of view. Postmodernism seeks inclusiveness, opening up discussions about literature to both dominant and minority voices. Use the VirtualLit Critical Perspectives page to learn about postmodern critical approaches (lenses) that can be applied to literature.
The Library's Oxford Reference provides database access to valuable reference works on American, British, and other literatures.