I have been finding it very difficult to come up with topics/ theses for my essay assignments and I think reading the works of more experienced scholars may be useful. However, I haven't been able to find a site that hosts good quality literary critiques. All I've found are sites with thousands of essays of varied (and mostly poor) quality and sites with reviews of literature as opposed to works which make an argument about a specific part of a novel/ poem/ film (which is what I'm looking for).

To be clear I'm looking for a website which hosts articles/ essays on topics like (from the top of my head) intertexuality in [some famous novel], use of color to convey [something] in Akira, or an comparison of tones in Yehuda Amichai's "Jerusalem" and Mahmoud Darwish's "Identity Card". My ideal (though almost certain such a site doesn't exist) would be a website that gives its audience a reading assignment each week and then provides several different good quality essays about different aspects of that work before moving on to the next one the week after. I'm looking to see how professional writers respond to classic works. I'm not looking to use the site to plagiarize anyone else's work.

Does such a website exist? Where do professional critics publish their works?

  • 1
    Where do professional critics publish their works? In scholarly journals, many of which are not yet on the web. Check out your local university library.
    – user16226
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 21:10
  • Are there any specific journals that you know I should look for?
    – user21057
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 22:34
  • 1
    Nope. Ask a librarian. That's what they're there for. (Librarians are the antediluvian equivalent of Google.) ;-)
    – user16226
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 22:41

2 Answers 2


Scholarly work on literature and language is listed in the MLA Bibliography. To access it, go to a university or big public library and ask a librarian. The MLA Bibliography lists publications by topic, that is, it offers a systematic search.

If you know what you are looking for, you can try finding articles through Google Scholar. Google Scholar is a search engine, that is, it finds words in the articles. You need a good search strategy and a bit of luck to find what you are looking for.

Scholarly articles are usually accessible online, but paywalled. You can access the most important ones through any university or big public library. Most such libraries offer introductions into scholarly research. If you are completely new to this, I recommend you take one such "course". Again, ask in the library nearest to you.

I don't know where you live, but in most countries university libraries can be used by the public. Bring a passport to register as a user.

Reviews and literary critiques are published in newspapers and review journals. There are many of the latter, most focussing on either "high" literature (e.g. the New York Times Book Review) or a specific genre. You can start your search in this Wikipedia List of Literary Magazines or in the Poets & Writers Literary Magazines Database.

There are similar lists for magazines in other languages. Use Google to find them.

You'll have to buy most of these magazines, but the more popular and high class ones (such as the Paris Review) can again be found in some public libraries.


While it might not be "professional," there are about eleventy gazillion words of meta-analysis (shortened to just meta) of the BBC's Sherlock, easily accessible on Tumblr by looking for the appropriate tags. T

You can read posts of 100 to 10,000 words by people who are analyzing the use of color in various episodes (green, rainbows, blue/purple, light/dark cinematography), the "drinks code," M-theory, the femme fatale trope, how set designer Arwel Wyn-Jones uses mockingbird designs on background wallpaper to indicate villains, character mirrors, and so on.

I have probably learned as much about cinematic and textual analysis from reading two years of meta as I did in two years of literary criticism courses in college.

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