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A Short Guide to Writing about Literature

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A Short Guide to Writing about Literature Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Part of Longman's successful Short Guide Series, A Short Guide to Writing about Literature,11/e, emphasizes writing as a process and incorporates new critical approaches to writing about literature. The eleventh edition continues to offer students sound advice on how to become critical thinkers and enrich their reading response through accessible, step-by-step instruction.   This highly respected text is ideal as a supplement to any course where writing about literature or literary studies is emphasized.

Synopsis:

Part of Longman's successful Short Guide Series, A Short Guide to Writing about Literature,11/e, emphasizes writing as a process and incorporates new critical approaches to writing about literature.

Table of Contents

PREFACE xiv

LETTER TO STUDENTS xvii

 

PART 1

Jumping In

1–WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE: A CRASH COURSE 3

    The Pleasures of Reading–and of Writing about Literature 3 

    The Writing Process 5

    . A Checklist of Basic Matters 9

 

2–THE WRITER AS READER: READING AND RESPONDING 10

    Kate Chopin, “Ripe Figs” 10

    The Act of Reading 11

    Reading with a Pen in Hand 13

    Recording Your First Responses 14

    Audience and Purpose 15

    A Writing Assignment on “Ripe Figs” 16

    The Assignment 16 

    A Sample Essay: “Images of Ripening in Kate Chopin’s ‘Ripe Figs’ ” 16 

    The Student’s Analysis Analyzed 18

    Critical Thinking and the Study of Literature 19

 

3–THE READER AS WRITER: DRAFTING AND WRITING 21

    Pre-writing: Getting Ideas 21

    Annotating a Text 21 

    More about Getting Ideas: A Second Story by Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” 22

    Kate Chopin: “The Story of an Hour” 22

    Brainstorming for Ideas for Writing 24

    Focused Free Writing 25

    Listing 26

    Asking Questions 27

    Keeping a Journal 28

    Critical Thinking: Arguing with Yourself 29

    Arriving at a Thesis and Arguing It 31

    Writing a Draft 33

    A Sample Draft: “Ironies in an Hour” 33

    Revising a Draft 35

    . A Checklist for Revising for Clarity 36

    Two Ways of Outlining a Draft 37

    . A Checklist for Reviewing a Revised Draft 38

    Peer Review 39

    The Final Version 41

    Sample Essay: “Ironies of Life in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’ ” 41 

    The Analysis Analyzed 43

    Quick Review 44

    From First Responses to Final Version: Writing an Essay about a Literary Work 44

 

4–TWO FORMS OF CRITICISM: EXPLICATION AND ANALYSIS 45

    Explication 45

    A Sample Explication: Langston Hughes’s “Harlem” 45 

    Working toward an Explication of “Harlem” 46 

    Some Journal Entries 48 

    The Final Draft: “Langston Hughes’s ‘Harlem’ ” 50 

    The Analysis Analyzed 51 

    . Checklist: Drafting an Explication 52

    Analysis: The Judgment of Solomon 52

    Thinking about Form 54

    Thinking about Character 55

    Thoughts about Other Possibilities 55

    Comparison: An Analytic Tool 57

    . A Checklist: Revising a Comparison 60

    Finding a Topic 60

    Considering the Evidence 61

    Organizing the Material 61

    Communicating Judgments 62

    Review: How to Write an Effective Essay 63

    1. Pre-writing 63

    2. Drafting 64

    3. Revising 65

    4. Editing 66 

    . Editing Checklist: Questions to Ask Yourself When Editing 67

 

5—OTHER KINDS OF WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE 69

    A Summary 69

    A Paraphrase 71

    A Review 72

    A Review of a Dramatic Production 73 

    A Sample Review: “An Effective Macbeth” 74

 

 

PART 2

Standing Back: Thinking Critically about Literature

 

6—LITERATURE, FORM, AND MEANING 81

    Literature and Form 81

    Literature and Meaning 84

    Arguing about Meaning 84

    Form and Meaning 85

    Robert Frost, “The Span of Life” 85

    Suggestions for Further Reading 88

7—WHAT IS INTERPRETATION? 90

    Interpretation and Meaning 90 

    Is the Author’s Intention a Guide to Meaning? 91 

    Characteristics of a Good Interpretation 92 

    An Example: Interpreting Pat Mora’s “Immigrants” 93 

    Thinking Critically about Literature 95 

    A Student Interpretation of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” 96

    Sample Essay: “Stopping by Woods and Going On” 97

    Suggestions for Further Reading 100

 

8—WHAT IS EVALUATION? 101 

    Criticism and Evaluation 101 

    Are There Critical Standards? 102

    Morality and Truth as Standards 103 

    Other Ways to Think about Truth and Realism 105

    Suggestions for Further Reading 107

 

9—WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE: AN OVERVIEW 108 

    The Nature of Critical Writing 108 

    Some Critical Approaches 109

    Formalist Criticism (New Criticism) 110 

    Deconstruction 112 

    Reader-Response Criticism 113 

    Archetypal (or Myth) Criticism 115 

    Historical Criticism 116 

    Marxist Criticism 116 

    The New Historicism 117 

    Biographical Criticism 118 

    Psychological (or Psychoanalytic) Criticism 118 

    Gender (Feminist, and Lesbian and Gay) Criticism 119

    Suggestions for Further Reading 123

 

 

PART 3

Up Close: Thinking Critically about Literary Forms

 

10–WRITING ABOUT FICTION: THE WORLD OF THE STORY 131 

    Plot and Character 131

    Writing about a Character 133 

    A Sample Essay on a Character: “Holden’s Kid Sister” 136 

    The Analysis Analyzed 137

    Foreshadowing 138

    Organizing an Essay on Foreshadowing 140

    Setting and Atmosphere 141

    Symbolism 142

    A Sample Essay on Setting as Symbol: “Spring Comes to Mrs. Mallard” 143 

    “Spring Comes to Mrs. Mallard” 144

    Point of View 147

    Third-Person Narrators 147

    First-Person Narrators 150

    Notes and a Sample Essay on Narrative Point of View in James Joyce’s “Araby” 151

    “The Three First-Person Narrators of Joyce’s ‘Araby’ ” 153 

    The Analysis Analyzed 155

    Theme: Vision or Argument? 155

    Determining and Discussing the Theme 156

    Preliminary Notes and a Sample Essay on the Theme of Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” 156

    Preliminary Notes 157 

    “Rising into Love” 160 

    A Brief Overview of the Essay 163 

    Basing the Paper on Your Own Responses 163 

    A Note on Secondary Sources 164

     A Second Essay about Theme: Notes and the Final Version of an Essay on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” 166

    “ We All Participated in ‘The Lottery’ ” 168 

    The Analysis Analyzed 169 

    Suggestions for Further Reading 170

    . A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Fiction 171 

    . A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about a Film Based on a Work of Literature 175

 

11—WRITING ABOUT DRAMA 178

    A Sample Essay 178

    Preliminary Notes 179 

    “The Solid Structure of The Glass Menagerie” 180

    Types of Plays 184

    Tragedy 184

    . A Checklist: Writing about Tragedy 188

    Comedy 188

    . A Checklist: Writing about Comedy 190

    Aspects of Drama 190

    Theme 190

    Plot 192

    . A Checklist: Writing about Plot 195

    Characterization and Motivation 197

    Conventions 198

    Costumes, Gestures, and Settings 199

    A Sample Essay on Setting in Drama 202

    “ What the Kitchen in Trifles Tells Us” 203 

    The Analysis Analyzed 204

    Suggestions for Further Reading 205

    . A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Drama 206 

    . A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about a Film Based on a Play 208

    A Student’s Essay on a Filmed Version of a Play 209

    “Branagh’s Film of Hamlet” 209 

    A Checklist: Topics for Critical Thinking and Writing 212

 

12–WRITING ABOUT POETRY 214

    The Speaker and the Poet 214

    Emily Dickinson, “Wild Nights–Wild Nights” 215 

    The Language of Poetry: Diction and Tone 216 

    Edna St. Vincent Millay, “I, being born a woman and distressed” 217 

    Writing about the Speaker: Robert Frost’s “The Telephone” 219 

    Robert Frost, “The Telephone” 219 

    Journal Entries 221

    Figurative Language 223

    John Keats, “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” 224 

    Preparing to Write about Figurative Language 227 

    William Blake, “The Sick Rose” 228

    Structure 229

    Robert Herrick, “Upon Julia’s Clothes” 230 

    Annotating and Thinking about a Poem 230 

    The Student’s Finished Essay: “Herrick’s Julia, Julia’s Herrick” 232 

    Some Kinds of Structure 233 

    William Wordsworth, “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” 234 

    John Donne, “The Flea” 235 

    Verbal Irony 236 

    Paradox 236

    Explication 237

    A Sample Explication of Yeats’s “The Balloon of the Mind” 237 

    William Butler Yeats, “The Balloon of the Mind” 238

    Rhythm and Versification: A Glossary for Reference 240

    Rhythm 240

    Meter 242

    Patterns of Sound 245

    Stanzaic Patterns 247

    Blank Verse and Free Verse 248 

    Walt Whitman, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” 248

    Preparing to Write about Prosody 250 

    Sample Essay on Metrics: “Sound and Sense in A. E. Housman’s ‘Eight O’Clock’” 251

    “Sound and Sense in A. E. Housman’s ‘Eight O’Clock’ ” 251 

    The Analysis Analyzed 255

    Suggestions for Further Reading 256

     . A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Poetry 256

 

13—WRITING ABOUT AN AUTHOR IN DEPTH 259

    A Case Study: Writing about Langston Hughes 260

    Langston Hughes, “The South” 261 

    Langston Hughes, “Ruby Brown” 263 

    Langston Hughes, “Ballad of the Landlord” 264 

    “A National Problem: Race and Racism in the Poetry of Langston Hughes” 265 

    A Brief Overview of the Essay 268

 

 

PART 4

Inside: Style, Format, and Special Assignments

 

14—STYLE AND FORMAT 273

    Principles of Style 273

    Get the Right Word 274

    Write Effective Sentences 278

    . A Checklist for Revising for Conciseness 280

    Write Unified and Coherent Paragraphs 282

    . A Checklist: Revising Paragraphs 288

    Write Emphatically 289

    Notes on the Dash and the Hyphen 290

    Remarks about Manuscript Form 290

    Basic Manuscript Form 290

    Quotations and Quotation Marks 292

15—WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 297

    What Research Is Not, and What Research Is 297

     Primary and Secondary Materials 298

    Locating Material: First Steps 298

    Other Bibliographic Aids 300

    The Basics 300

    Moving Ahead: Finding Sources for Research Work 301

    What Does Your Own Institution Offer? 301

    Taking Notes 302

    Drafting Your Paper 304

    Focus on Primary Sources 306

    Documentation 306

    What to Document: Avoiding Plagiarism 306 

    . A Checklist for Avoiding Plagiarism 308 

    How to Document: Footnotes, Internal Parenthetical Citations, and a List of Works Cited (MLA Format) 309

    Sample Essay with Documentation: “The Women in Death of a Salesman” 321

    . A Checklist: Reading the Draft of a Research Paper 328

    Electronic Sources 329

    Encyclopedias: Print and Electronic Versions 329 

    The Internet/World Wide Web 329

    Evaluating Sources on the World Wide Web 330

    . A Checklist: A Review for Using the World Wide Web 330

    Documentation: Citing a Web Source 331

    . A Checklist: Citing World Wide Web Sources 331

 

APPENDIX A: TWO STORIES 334 

    James Joyce, “Araby” 334 

    Eudora Welty, “A Worn Path” 338

 

APPENDIX B: GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS 345

 

CREDITS 359

 

INDEX OF AUTHORS, TITLES, AND FIRST LINES OF POEMS 360

 

INDEX OF TERMS 362

Product Details

ISBN:
9780205602957
Author:
Barnet, Sylvan
Publisher:
Longman
Author:
Cain, William E.
Author:
Cain, William
Subject:
General
Subject:
English language
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing - Academic
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Exposition (rhetoric)
Subject:
Report writing
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Short Guides Series
Publication Date:
February 2008
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.27x5.78x.76 in. .92 lbs.

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A Short Guide to Writing about Literature Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Longman Publishing Group - English 9780205602957 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Part of Longman's successful Short Guide Series, A Short Guide to Writing about Literature,11/e, emphasizes writing as a process and incorporates new critical approaches to writing about literature.
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