The comparison, analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of literary works is known as literary criticism. Literary criticism is simply an opinion based on facts about a topic, style, place, or historical or political context. It is usually written in the form of essays.
Literary critics study literature. They try to understand what kinds of feelings, ideas, and values are expressed in texts by reading them. Literary critics can be divided up into groups such as traditional critics, modern critics, feminist critics, black critics, Asian American critics, and LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) critics. Each group has its own set of beliefs about what makes good writing and how it should be analyzed.
Literary critics often use language differently from most writers. They may discuss words in detail, giving them special meanings that ordinary people might not know. For example, a literary critic could say that the word "shocking" seems like an easy way for writers to express their dislike for certain things, but that actually nothing bad will happen to you if you read something that is shocking. This type of discussion would be unusual for an article in a newspaper or a story in a book. But it is common in reviews.
Another way in which literary critics differ from other writers is that they usually want to explain rather than just describe.
Literary criticism, according to Abrams (2009:61), is the broad word for disciplines concerned with defining, categorizing, analyzing, interpreting, and assessing works of literature. Literary theory, on the other hand, is the philosophy that guides individuals who analyze other people's works. In other words, literary critics use theories to help them interpret what is written in books.
Criticism and theory are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings for scholars of literature. Theory is a body of ideas that attempts to explain why things are as they are in order to guide human action. It is not enough to describe events; one must also explain them. Critics, on the other hand, seek out facts about the past to inform us about what will happen in the future. They try to understand how writers create stories that hold readers' attention so that others will want to read them.
Critics use theories when trying to understand what makes for a good story or poem. Some theories focus on the elements of storytelling such as plot or character development. Others focus on the author's intent with his or her work. Still others look at the culture and time in which the book was written in an attempt to better understand its meaning.
Literary theorists use criticism to build upon one another's work. They study novels, poems, plays, and other writing forms to see how they can be improved.
Close reading of a literary work is involved in literary criticism, whether you are debating about a certain interpretation, comparing stories or poems, or employing a theory to analyze literature. Don't describe the plot. Describe the actions. Understand the reasons for what happens. Then write your own version of the story.
Read with an eye toward determining which interpretations are most likely correct and which are less so, but also keep in mind that new perspectives often offer important insights you had not considered before. A good reader uses everything at his or her disposal to make sense of what is before them.
Literary critics divide their time between reading works of art (stories, plays, poems) and analyzing them. This analysis can be as simple as noting themes but can also involve more complex topics such as meaning or structure. The goal is to understand why certain writers create the works they do and how these people speak to us today through various styles of writing.
Critical thinking is essential to being a good literary critic. You must be able to distinguish facts from opinions, and then use those facts to come to a reasonable conclusion. Good critics don't just accept things as true or false; they look into the matter further if there's a question about something they've read.