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Studies in Criticism: ENG 4097

Research help for Sue-Im Lee's course, "Studies in Criticism."

Why Use Biographies?

silhouette of four persons standing during sunsetBiographies provide insights into individuals' lives and achievements. Biographies come in all shapes and sizes: some offer just factual information (full name, birth and death dates, place of birth, career history, etc.) while others provide more in-depth accounts as well as references for further reading.

When and Why You Should Use Biographies:

  • You need a quick account of an individual's life or accomplishments (e.g. brief sketches in encyclopedias)
  • You need an in-depth account of an individual's life or accomplishments (e.g. book-length biographies)
  • You need to offer a view of history through the lens of one individual's life or contributions
  • You need to track down where an individual's personal documents or objects are located 
  • You need to better understand how perceptions of an individual have changed over time

Remember: Biographies are often subjective. Keep in mind who wrote and published the biography, and decide whether or not that author/publisher had any possible biases. You may need to consult multiple biographies on the same individual.

Find Author Biographies & Interviews

These databases contain brief biographies or biographical overviews on individuals. Many also point to other resources about an individual, including related news stories, book-length biographies, and/or author interviews.