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ENGL 3933: Shakespeare: Criticism in Books

This guide will cover the OSU Library resources to help you in English 3933 taught by Dr. Andrew Wadoski.

Criticism in Books

Books and essay collections in books are often very useful for finding criticism on authors and their literary works.  They often give overviews of an author's life and provide detailed discussion of an author's works.  Newer writers or less famous writers are often not covered in full-length books, but some books will include essays on wide range of authors.  To find criticism on a specific work by an author, you often will have to find criticism about the author and check the table of contents of index of books.

Most books of literary criticism will be in the 800 call number ranges shelved with books of literature (820s British literature; 822.33 is for books by and about Shakespeare.) on the 4th floor of the Library. 

Finding Books of Criticism with BOSS (Big Orange Search System)

The Library of Congress has several subject headings for Shakespeare studies.  You can enter the word (without dashes) in BOSS or the Catalog.  Some of the headings include

Shakespeare, William 1564-1616—Authorship
Shakespeare, William 1564-1616—Characters - Kings and Rulers
Shakespeare, William 1564-1616—Hamlet
Shakespeare, William 1564-1616—Histories
Shakespeare, William 1564-1616—Political and Social Views

Using BOSS (the Big Orange Search System in the orange search box on the OSU Library homepage) Advanced and select the Books & Media tab above the search boxes, or go to "Find Books" in the center of the Library's homepage and select Catalog (Books & eBooks), then enter the author’s name and criticism or interpretation, and/or name of a play (such as Hamlet and criticism).  BOSS book search can search for books by and about an author and essays in books about an author.  BOSS will search for the keywords in the titles of books, and in the tables of contents for essay collections.

From the results page, you can refine your search by Content Type (books, e-books, etc.), Author of the criticism, Subject Term (for other books on the same subject), Date, etc.


Click on the book record to check availability (it if is checked out or available on the shelf).  If it is an e-book, you will have the link to access the title online.