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English 200 - Reading Literature and Culture

PMLA cover

The library provides access to many
Language & Literature journals.

What is an academic journal?

Academic journals are publications that contain articles written by scholars. In literary studies, scholars publish critical articles in journals as a means of sharing an evaluation, explication, or interpretation of literary texts with other scholars in the field of study. 

A few notes on academic journals:

  • Academic journals are established for a purpose. For example, African American Review, the official publication of the Division on Black American Literature and Culture of the Modern Language Association, "promotes a lively exchange among writers and scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences who hold diverse perspectives on African American literature and culture."
  • Academic journals are put articles through a peer-review process prior to publication.
  • Academic journals are published periodically, on an ongoing basis, usually four times per year.
  • The Adams Library provides access to academic journals in both print and digital formats.
  • One strategy for discovering critical articles published by academic journals is to use an article database, such as MLA International Bibliography or JSTOR.

MLA International Bibliography with Full Text


Use the bibliography find books and articles on languages, literature, folklore, and linguistics. It is compiled by the staff of the MLA office in NYC with the cooperation of more than 120 contributing bibliographers in the US and abroad.

Sources indexed:

  • Print and electronic journals, series, books, and websites.

  • Dictionaries, catalogs, handbooks, bibliographies, indexes, and other reference works.

  • Working papers, conference papers, and proceedings.


Tips for finding literary criticism in JSTOR:

  • Use the title of a story or novel as a keyword. 
  • Narrow your search by Item type (Articles).
  • Use Journal Filter to narrow results to Language and Literature journals.