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ENGL 49500: Capstone Seminar


Literary criticism is the comparison, analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of works of literature. Literary criticism is essentially an opinion, supported by evidence, relating to theme, style, setting or historical or political context. It usually includes discussion of the work’s content and integrates your ideas with other insights gained from research. Literary criticism may have a positive or a negative bias and may be a study of an individual piece of literature or an author’s body of work.

Although criticism may include some of the following elements in order to support an idea, literary criticism is NOT a plot summary, a biography of the author, or simply finding fault with the literature.

Researching, reading, and writing works of literary criticism will help you to make better sense of the work, form judgments about literature, study ideas from different points of view, and determine on an individual level whether a literary work is worth reading.

Examples of some types of literary criticism are:

  • Biographical
  • Comparative
  • Ethical
  • Expressive
  • Feminist
  • Historical
  • Mimetic
  • Pragmatic
  • Psychological
  • Social
  • Textual
  • Theoretical