By Dr. William Kumbier
· Skim a brief biography- get a quick overview of an author’s life
· Look for critical biographies- an in depth, thoroughly researched, and documented information on one author generally integrating brief studies of an author’s works with a very detailed account of the author’s life
· For a closer look find personal biographies- biographies written by people who knew the author personally or autobiographies, biographies written by the author themselves
· Look for correspondence, diaries, journals and notebooks by or to the author
· Find out what type of reception the author received when they were published
· For a different perspective read literary criticism- response and reflection based on opinion of an author's work
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