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Short Story Criticism

Tips and resources for writing about short stories

How to find basic sources for literary criticism

Finding resources for Short Story analysis can sometimes be challenging. New stories or lesser known stories may not have a lot of academic research published on them yet, and popular stories can sometimes have too much. Try some of these basic tips and tricks to help you broaden or narrow the kinds of resources you are trying to find.

Search Tips:

  • For criticism and literary biography, search using the name of the author as a Subject. e.g. Munro, Alice
  • If the author is well-known, try using the name of the author AND the title of the short story. e.g. Alice Munro AND "Boys and Girls"
  • If you are unable to find criticism on a particular short story, look at general works about the author or criticism of other stories by the same author, and make your own connections to the story you are examining.
  • If the author is not well-known, or the story is very recent, start your search first in article databases.

Follow up on references to other books and articles:

You can use the Works Cited or Reference pages of books and articles you do find to expand your number of resources very quickly.This is called "pearl growing" or "citation mining" and it a common way to do research.

  • If you want to find a scholarly journal article that someone else has cited, you can use the Journal Title Search to see if the magazine or journal is available at Langara. Keep in mind: you will be searching for the title of the JOURNAL, not the title of the article.