ENGL 2367: Fairy Tales: Find Criticism

Find primary and secondary sources on fairy tales.

Literary Criticism and Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Literary criticism is a type of writing where the writer looks at a primary text and then analyzes that text. To write your own literary criticism you need to know the difference between primary sources and secondary sources. Review the boxes on this page for more detailed information on how to tell the difference between primary and secondary sources. Plus, get some tips on how to search for primary sources and secondary sources in the Columbus State Library book catalog.

Primary Sources

Use the CState catalog to find primary sources by using one of the below keywords combined with the name of the fairy tale:

  • charters
  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • early works
  • interviews
  • manuscripts
  • oratory
  • pamphlets
  • personal narratives
  • sources
  • speeches
  • letters
  • documents

book cover for the Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales
The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm


Primary Vs. Secondary Sources Table

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Source Type Examples

A primary source is a first person account by someone who experienced or witnessed an event. This original document has not been previously published or interpreted by anyone else.


  • First person account of an event
  • Original publication
  • Speech or lecture
  • Original artwork
  • Handwritten manuscript
  • Letters or diary entries
  • Historical documents, e.g. Bill of Rights

A secondary source is one step removed from the primary original source. The author is reexamining, interpreting and forming conclusions based on the information that is conveyed in the primary source. 


  • Newspaper reporting on a study
  • Review of a book
  • Biography
  • Analysis of Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat"

Secondary Sources

Use the CState catalog to find secondary sources by using one of the below keywords combined with the name of the fairy tale::

  • criticism
  • essays
  • interpretation
  • analysis
  • response
  • review
  • companion
  • approaches

book cover for the Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy TalesThe Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales

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