When using the internet to study English literature, it is very important to check the validity of sources and to use respected and long-established published materials. There are many sites now on the internet which are quick and easy and convenient to use . They often look like fully endorsed encyclopaedia-like sources, but are often voluntarily edited by the general public.
Information can float about, change and be re-edited time and again. One good idea is to check the sources cited on such pages and to go to their original publication pages and interpret them oneself. It is also important to cite pages and sources correctly when good, valuable content is found. Many authors have official dedicated sites to promote and protect their work.
There is a great deal of importance in being able to use the internet as a tool for studying literature. I think that the wide ranging nature of the web allows for wider discussion of text and the analysis of it from different points of view. I am not sure that any other medium accomplishes it as well as the internet. The idea of collaborating across cultures and national boundaries on text helps to increase the effectiveness of the discourse by bringing more people into it. At the same time, the presence of uploaded scholarly writings of literature posted on the web helps to make it invaluable in the research process. It is almost as if internet research has become the new library where college students used to spend so much of their time.
Internet sites are very helpful in studying English literature. There is no other source that can be easily accessed like the internet. Some of the sites provide English literature study materials without charging a penny.
"Analysis" is a word that is unavoidable for a student who studies literature. A lot of students do not know how to make a good analysis of poetry, prose or drama. The main reason for it is that they do not know how to handle the language when when doiing an analysis. But there are quite a lot of good analyses of poetry, prose and drama on the internet. The language and vocabulary used in those analyses are excellent. Students can always learn a lot by studying them.
When studying literature, one's personal opinion counts a lot. That represents the power of thought. Internet forums and discussion boards are a wonderful tool for students to discuss what they think of a certain poem, novel or a drama.
Although internet sites are important for studying English literature, the students are advised to be careful to choose the materials with the right information, that are written by those who have the knowledge of the subject.
Above posts are very good and rational. I'd just like to add my very own opinion.
I myself am a student of literature. I need various sources and references. And, for this purpose, I need to look into the net, not the books are sufficient now. Internet provides a lot of sources and links. Through these, we can get answers to many a difficult questions. Many sites, many experts, many heads and many sources. That's it!
Internet is a very big and convenient source of information on almost any subject, including literature. Therefore, it can play a vital role in facilitating study of English Literature. However it is important that what is available on Internet represents a small fraction of information available on most of the subject. Therefore it is not wise to use the Internet as main source of information.
Internet is most useful for getting a wide and general information on any subject. But barring some exceptions, Internet is not sufficient to go into depth of a subject. The best source of such information may still be a good library, particularly a library specializing in the subject of your study.