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Literary Criticism

a guide for finding and writing about literary criticism

What is literary theory?

Literary Theory in Brief

Literary Theory is an approach to research where an individual analyzes a text through a particular lens or school of thought.  Some literary theories you may consider are the following: 

In the box below, you will find a few print and eBook resources from our library's catalog as well as links to websites and videos that contain information about literary theories.  

Resources about Literary Theory

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains literary theory, and it explains the following areas of criticism: Formalism, New Criticism, Marxist literary theory, Structuralism, Post-structuralism, New Historicism, Cultural Materialism, ethnic studies and Post-colonial Criticism, gender studies and Queer Theory, and cultural studies. 

Marxist Internet Archive "contains the writings of around 850 authors representing a complete spectrum of political, philosophical, and scientific thought, generally spanning the past 200 years."  The writings either are Marxist or they explain Marxism. 

Owl Purdue University's Online Writing Lab offers a page that details different schools of literary theory.  

University of Iowa Women's Studies Resources: Feminist Theory provides links that lead to research articles, information on authors, and an image gallery of women theorists and authors.