English and Literature Web Sites

General Sites Great Books Online - This collection of reference sites includes online encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, English usage, and more.

Project Gutenberg - The Internet's oldest -- and one of the largest -- provider of free electronic books," where you can download over 30,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone or other device." (Usable on Macintosh computers too.) Find classic works or relatively unknown texts in many, many different languages.


Critical Thinking

Critical Reading: A Guide - Consult this guide to learn more about analyzing poetry, fiction and prose in fiction, as well as writing analytical essays. Designed by Professor John Lye for his first year English students at Brock University, Canada.

Critical Reading Towards Critical Writing - Visit this site to get answers to these questions: Critical Reading: What is It?; How Do I Read Looking for Ways of Thinking?; and Practical Tips. Created by Dr. Margaret Procter, Coordinator, Writing Support, University of Toronto, Canada.


Reference Sites

Grammar A-Z - Oxford Dictionary's Grammar A-Z is a dictionary of grammatical and literary terms.

Merriam-Webster - An online dictionary and thesaurus.

Specialty Dictionaries - Dictionaries and glossaries of terms used in specific fields such as criminology and business. - Check out features such as dictionaries in more than 260 languages, thesauri, abbreviations dictionaries, and specialty dictionaries for business, sports, law, medicine, and more.


Book Reviews/Essays/Interviews

Horn Book - One of the most highly respected sources for reviews of children's and young adult literature.

New York Review of Books - Although a subscription site, a large amount of information can be accessed here for free, including the current issue.

New York Times Book Review - Access some of the best book reviews around by visiting this New York Times site. Free registration is required.

Paris Review: DNA of Literature - "[R]ead, search, and download any or all of these [300+] in-depth interviews with poets, novelists, playwrights, essayists, critics, musicians, and more..."


Writing & Study Guides

Guide to Grammar and Writing - Developed by Professor Charles Darling, this guide provides helpful tips for writing at any level: sentence, paragraph, or paper.

On-Line Writing Lab (OWL) - Purdue University's Online Writing Lab, a great site for finding sources to help aid your writing and writing-related topic needs.

Research and Documentation Online - Clearly written directions for using MLA or APA style in your research paper.



Avoiding Plagiarism - From Purdue University Online Writing Lab, this guide explains what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

How to Recognize Plagiarism -  Created by Indiana University's Education Department, this resource contains examples of plagiarism and practice tests.

Writing Tutorial Services - Information on plagiarism, documentation, and other writing situations


Oxford Dictionaries - Known for its expertise with reference resources, this Oxford Dictionaries site provides much more information than just quotes. Quote-related information includes a quote of the day, a quote of the week, the ability to vote for your "favourite" quote, and the option to search for a quote on a specific topic in The Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Quotations - Bartleby is well known for its expert reference sources. Visit their collections to find quotations from four well-known sources. They also provide a quote of the day and a quote of the day archives.


Usage & Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation - Excerpts and examples from the print version of this reference source and interactive tests will help pinpoint trouble spots that you may want to learn more about.

Common Errors in English - A useful guide of brief explanations of words and phrases that are commonly misused in the English language.

Conciseness: Methods of Eliminating Wordiness - From Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Get an overview of how to edit sentences to make them as concise and readable as possible.

The Elements of Style - The classic reference book by William Strunk, Jr. "[I]t gives in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style and concentrates attention on the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated." Housed at

A Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples - A nice site to learn more about specific terms that come into play in many grammar situations. Find definitions and examples of such terms as alliteration, metaphor and simile.

Plain English Campaign - Find out why writing in plain English is important. Consult these guides and examples to get a better understanding of the issue.

Strategies for Reducing Wordiness - Provides strategies to achieve concise writing. Maintained by LEO: Literacy Education Online.



African American Women Online Archival Collection - Created and maintained by the Special Collections Library at Duke University. Contains links to related sites.

Literary History - "A selective bibliography of open access articles for more than 300 authors, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars, articles published in reviewed sources, and web sites that adhere to the MLA Guidelines for Authors of Web Sites."

Victorian Women Writers Project - The purpose of this project is "to produce highly accurate transcriptions of works by British women writers of the 19th century." Types of work "include anthologies, novels, political pamphlets, religious tracts, children's books, and volumes of poetry and verse drama."

To find information on specific authors and critiques of their work try searching a research database such as Literary Reference Center Plus. Try the links below for general information:

Sherman Alexie
Edward Arlington Robinson
Kate Chopin
Sandra Cisneros
e.e. cummings
Emily Dickinson
William Faulkner
Robert Frost
Langston Hughes
Ernest Hemingway
Jack Kerouac
Eugene O'Neill
Sylvia Plath
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Mark Twain
Alice Walker
Walt Whitman
Tennessee Williams
William Butler Yeats



Bartleby Verse - "Thousands of poems by hundreds of authors." Search this site of over 50 full-text sources to gain access to classic poetry.

Modern American Poetry - A companion site to Anthology of Modern American Poetry, this educational site provides resources for poetry scholars of all levels. Search over 160 companion author sites that provide analysis of the author's works.

Poetry Daily - "[A]publication of The Daily Poetry Association, Poetry Daily is an anthology of contemporary poetry that each day brings readers a new poem from books, magazines and journals currently in print, along with information about featured poets and publishers, news from the poetry world, and occasional special features." Academy of American Poets - "Visitors [to this site] can find hundreds of essays and interviews about poetry, biographies of more than 500 poets, almost 2000 poems, and audio clips of 150 poems read by their authors or other poets...[In addition you can] find local poetry resources on the National Poetry Map and calendar."

Poet's Corner - Search this full-text site, with 6,700+ entries by 780+ authors, by title, author, first line, or keyword. Gain access to some of the most well-known and obscure works in existence. Biographical and context related information is included for the serious poetry scholar.

Representative Poetry Online - This site "includes 3,162 English poems by 500 poets from Caedmon, in the Old English period, to the work of living poets today. It is based on Representative Poetry, established by Professor W. J. Alexander of University College, University of Toronto, in 1912..., and used in the English Department at the University until the late 1960s."

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Last updated: 04/18/19

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