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ENGL 1302 - Composition II


Overviews familiarize you with the characters, setting, literary elements, and genre of the work. Overviews can be helpful and informative, but they are not criticism.

You can find overviews at Spark Notes.


NOTE: With few exceptions, overviews and reference books provide fairly basic information and it is not recommended these sources be used as required sources for a research paper..

Background Information

If you've read and re-read the work but still don't know where to begin, try Bloom's Literary Reference Online.  It has a biographies, overviews, criticism and step-by-step advice on "How to Write a Good Essay."

Criticism Collections

The library has an extensive collection of criticism reference books in the reference area on the first floor. Many are from Thomson Gale Publishing and you can search these using their online index at  When you search the Gale Literary Index for a work, you will get a list of Gale series (including volume and issue numbers) that contain information on that work.

The library has the Gale series listed on the other tabs in this box.  Many of these sources are also available in the following databases.

NOTE: The critical articles in these books are often excerpts, meaning they are incomplete. The book will provide a citation, though. Use the citation to find the complete, original article.