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A research guide for Professor Blondin's ENC1102 students

Literary Criticism vs. Book Reviews

You are probably familiar with book reviews. Book reviews are usually a small paragraph in a newspaper or magazine that comments on a book. Book reviews are written for everyone, click here to see one from The New York Times.

Literary criticism is a longer, in-depth analysis about an author, a literary work, or even a single character, theme, or occurence in a literary work. When searching for research to write a paper on a contemporary author, you may use literary criticism or book reviews.

The databases will offer both, but just be aware of the information you are seeing.

When to Use Databases

Databases contain online versions of newspapers, magazines, journals, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and book chapters. Since you access databases online, many people think they are websites. They are NOT websites.You must login to gain access to databases because they are proprietary resources leased for use by IRSC students and employees. 

When searching databases, you can be more specific with your keywords for a more precise list of results. You can search within the title, abstract, or full text of the item. The hardest part of searching databases is knowing which one to choose. The IRSC list of databases offers brief information about each resource. You can also search for databases by subject to help you more easily select appropriate databases. 

Database Login for Students

To get to the databases, start at www.irsc.edu

Click Libraries on the bottom left

Click Find Articles

Click Databases by Subject

Login to the databases.

The database login screen looks like this.

Your Borrower ID is your student ID.

Your PIN is your 4-digit birthdate (MMDD).

Students, choose a database below to find literary criticism.

Suggested Databases for Literary Criticism

Try these online databases to find literary criticisms, peer-reviewed articles, and other scholarly information about your author and novel.

Remember to choose FULL TEXT, if available.