Skip to main content

American Literature: Finding Books

Gray Library Catalog

Gray Library Catalog Search Tips

To find books of criticism on a particular author or work:

1.  Search the library catalog

2.  Select "Subject" from the drop-down box next to the search box.  Because books of criticism on an author are about the author and not by the author, it is best to look at books that use the author as the subject of the work.

How to Read Call Numbers

How to Find Books 1 - Basic Searches

Example: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

EXAMPLE: find criticism on "As I Lay Dying" by William Faulkner -

1.  Type "Faulkner, William" into the search box and select "subject from the drop-down box.

2.  Browse displayed subject headings for most relevant results. (The number to the far right of each subject heading indicates how many works the library possesses that correspond to that subject heading.)

3. Look for a sub-heading matching the title of the work.  The books listed under this sub-heading will often have criticism over the work.  (For example, Faulkner, William, 1897-1962.  As I Lay Dying).

4. Look for the subheading "criticism and interpretation." If one doesn't exist for your particular work, examine the general critcism items on the author.

5.  Get the book from the shelves and scan the table of contents and index to determine if it will be useful to your research.