Below is a selection of books on English Literature. Some of the titles listed here provide an overview of the subject, whereas others offer in-depth analysis on specific topics. As a student, you will likely be using books that are either the literary texts you study, or books on literary theory and critical analysis. This page will focus on literary criticism, listing core titles of handbooks, dictionaries, and encyclopedias that are in our collection. This is a selection aims to provide you with a starting place for research.
The books included here comprises of both print and e-books. For print books, a call number is included so that you can find them in the library.
To browse more titles, please visit our library catalogue, or ask a librarian for a recommendation.
Here are some e-book collections with a sizeable collection in English Literature. Some of these contain the actual literary text in addition to academic essays.
What are "Handbooks"?
Handbooks are, as the name suggests, books that are handy, or fit in a pocket. This is applied metaphorically to these books listed below: These are books that summarise or provide a macro view of a specific topic, author, or even a specific work of literature. They often contain introductions and summaries to quickly bring a reader up to speed on the basic concepts or theories surrounding the subject, and depending on the book, may also have a secondary function to list the latest or most relevant academic developments surrounding this topic.
In short, they are very useful to you! Do explore the list below - they will prove invaluable for your years here at NTU.
Why are dictionaries useful?
The definitions of specific literary jargon can be confusing, and are sometimes used in other humanities or social sciences (like in Mass Communication, or Linguistics) but with a different meaning.
Dictionaries provide you with proper context of how a term is used in Literature, and saves you the embarrassment of submitting an essay based on a mistaken definition. There are many dictionaries specific for literary criticism beyond those listed below in our collection.
Why not Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is actually just an online, general encyclopedia. So should you use Wikipedia in your academic work?
The answer is no. Encyclopedias published by academic publishers are curated and vetted by authorised academics and experts, and aim to provide detailed examinations and analyses on very specific topics. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is curated by anonymous contributors or unverified experts, and aims to provide general knowledge for the public.
Do use the encyclopedias in the Library's collection instead of Wikipedia to get access to well-rounded and detailed examinations of core literary concepts and theories that can help you develop your arguments and essays, to lend more weight and authority to your arguments.