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Literary Criticism: A Guide: What is Literary Criticism

This guide has been constructed for students undertaking VCE Literature. The purpose of this guide is to provide students and teachers research and introductory material on a range of Literary Criticism approaches.

Literary Criticism

About this resource: 

This page is set up as a resource for both, teacher's needing resources, and students studying VCE Literature. This guide offers an introduction to literary theory and criticism as well as links to detailed information across many of the theoretical approaches to literary criticism. It lists resources and study tools for students studying VCE Literature Units 1,2, 3 & 4 for outcomes in the 2016-2021 Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority (VCAA ) Study Design and a range of reading, blogs, websites and instructional videos teachers can draw on when teaching this course. 

VCE Curriculum Links

Useful Literary Criticism Introductory Websites and Books

Online Search

Google Web Search

What is Literary Theory?

What is Literary Theory?

"Literary theories were developed as a means to understand the various ways people read texts. ... All literary theories are lenses through which we can see texts." Deborah Appleman

"A very basic way of thinking about literary theory is that these ideas act as different lenses critics use to view and talk about art, literature, and even culture. These different lenses allow critics to consider works of art based on certain assumptions within that school of theory. The different lenses also allow critics to focus on particular aspects of a work they consider important." Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism

So are Literary Theory and Literary Criticism different things?

Literary criticism and literary theory are two important terms that we encounter in literary studies. There are varying views on the difference between literary criticism and literary theory; some scholars use these two terms to describe the same concept whereas some other scholars consider literary criticism as the practical application of the literary theories. In this article, we are considering the latter perspective. Literary criticism is the study, evaluation and interpretation of literature whereas literary theory is the different frameworks used to evaluate and interpret a particular work. This is the main difference between literary criticism and literary theory.

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About Me

Hi there, my name is Tim and I am a keen reader and Teacher Librarian. I am passionate about books, tabletop games such as Dungeons & Dragons, and an all-out literary nerd. I have a Bachelor of Arts (Literary Studies) Honours degree, I am rarely without a book in my hand. I have developed this guide for teachers and students from knowledge and resources from my own studies, as well as from research ion professional resources available to teachers and students. Hopefully, you find it helpful. If you have any feedback feel free to contact me on my email.