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Shenandoah University

Literature: Home

Approaches for Researching Works of Literature

Look for criticism and interpretation of

  • Features of the work itself
  • How the work fits within the author’s body of work
  • How elements of the work conform (or not) to expectations of a genre or a form
  • Themes contained in the work
  • The cultural context in which the work was written/published
  • How readers respond to the work

Need help from a real person?

Meghan Davitt, Health Sciences Librarian, (540) 678-4351,
Kathy Evans, Reference & Archives Librarian, (540) 665-5421,
Aimee Gee, Reference & Online Learning Librarian, (540) 665-4553,
Andy Kulp, Director, (540) 665-5444,

Getting Started with Background Information

Use online encyclopedias and other reference books to get an overview of your topic and start your research.