VCE English & Literature guide

Guide to research and literary criticism of current VCE English and Literature texts

State Library Victoria


In line with the stage 3 restrictions announced by the Premier, State Library Victoria closed on Thursday 9 July.

We will advise when there is any update to this situation.

Our Ask A Librarian reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.

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Guide authors

VCE  English & Literature's picture
VCE English & Literature
Craig Hildebrand-Burke & Andrew McConville

Contact us via the Library's online reference service citing the title of this guide


This guide identifies reviews and analyses of novels, short stories, poetry, plays, non-fiction and films on the current Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English and Literature units.

While there is a specific focus on the VCE English and Literature texts the content will be helpful to anyone looking for hints on reading and responding to texts, or seeking links to commentaries, criticisms and plot overviews.

The Library subscribes to many literature databases giving access to a wide range of high quality journal articles and other publications. 

Many of these databases contain the full text of articles, but some provide citations for articles.The Library catalogue can then be searched to find the journals referred to in the citations. 

See Researching literature online tab for guidance on accessing and searching our databases and also for further detail on citations.

Registering to access the online databases

To access much of the online information you will need a State Library Victoria barcode. This is free and you can join online. You can also join in person if you are in the Library (and have some ID showing a current Victorian address).

If you join online the card will be posted to your Victorian residential address. You need to be a Victorian resident to access the databases the Library subscribes to.

Accessing full-text from links on this guide

Many links on this guide are to the online databases our Library subscribes to. When you click on such links you will be asked to enter the barcode number on your barcode, and your family name.


Children's literature

See our separate guide on Children's literature.

Learn skills


Check our ergo site for practical guides to researching assignments, writing essays and studying for exams.

There's also plenty of examples that clearly show you how to apply your new skills.

There are videos of authors and academics who share their research, writing and study tips.

Online learning

For more on locating and using information and developing research skills, see these online courses. You can work through each module or dip in and out for the information you need.

VCE guides

Literature databases

Use the topic tabs at the top of this guide for instruction on using the most appropriate database.

If you live in Victoria register to access these databases from home.

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