Where and how to find secondary literature
The scholarly analysis of literary works should, ideally, open a new perspective, cast light on a hitherto neglected aspect of a text and establish a connection with the state of current research in the field. In order to meet these requirements, it is necessary to consult the existing secondary literature for results on a certain topic, text or author. The works of previous researchers in a field influence your own work by providing insights related to your topic and thus possibly supporting your particular arguments or by delineating the boundaries of your topic. In some cases a certain topic may have been sufficiently dealt with or treated in much the same way as you had in mind. In such instances, it is necessary to rethink the entire approach or, in the worst case, abandon the project entirely.