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ENG 112: Writing and Research in the Disciplines

This Research Guide provides information to help you complete discipline specific research in English 112 classes using resources from the CCCC libraries and online.

Literary Analysis Paper: the Process

Take it step by step... 

Magnifying Glass Icon1. Choose Your Primary Source.

There are many library resources to help you choose a short story or poem to analyze in your paper. Ask for help from a librarian or check out the Literature Resource Center link will open in a new window to get started.

Quotation Mark Icon2. Search for Scholarly Criticism.

Search for the story or poem title or your author in JSTOR link will open in a new window  to find articles analyzing your story or poem from a variety of perspectives.

Man with Glasses Icon3. Identify the Perspectives.

What are the authors writing about?  The Literature Resource Center Link will open in a new window. can also help you learn more about common readings of the story or poem you've selected. Some common topics in literary analysis include:

  • Gender
  • Psychology
  • Race
  • Class and socioeconomic status
  • Culture
  • History

Three People Icon4. Connect the Readings to the Primary Source

Read your story or poem closely to identify passages that connect to the topics studied in your selected scholarly articles. RefWorks link will open in a new window  can help you make notes in your scholarly articles as you go along.  

If you need help with any step along the way, talk to your instructor or schedule an appointment with a Librarian using the button below.

Use the worksheet below to help you stay organized as you read the literary criticism articles you find:

Library Lingo

An image of quote marks.


Primary Source: In a literary analysis paper, this is the short story, novel, poem, or play that you are analyzing.  The articles you read about that short story, novel, poem, or play are called secondary sources.

Best Bets

What are the best Library Resources for this assignment?

Developing Keywords for a Literary Criticism Search

Need some help coming up with good search terms for literary analysis? This video from the Library at the University of Houston link will open in a new window will help you come up with new ideas for good keywords.  

Check out this guide's Develop Your Search Strategy link will open in a new window section for more help.


An image of a Question Mark to designate the "Help" box.Need a little extra help?

Contact your librarian. 

Or use the links below to get more in-depth help and information.