A Short Guide to Writing about Literature / Edition 12

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Overview

Part of Longman's successful Short Guide Series, A Short Guide to Writing about Literature emphasizes writing as a process and incorporates new critical approaches to writing about literature. The twelfth edition continues to offer students sound advice on how to become critical thinkers and enrich their reading response through accessible, step-by-step instruction.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205118458
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 7/12/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 12
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 269,991
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

PREFACE
LETTER TO STUDENTS

PART 1

Jumping In

1—WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE: A CRASH COURSE

The Pleasures of Reading—and of Writing about Literature

The Open Secret of Good Writing

The Writing Process

A Checklist of the Basics

2—THE WRITER AS READER: READING AND RESPONDING

Kate Chopin, “Ripe Figs”

The Act of Reading

Reading with a Pen in Hand

Recording Your First Responses

Audience and Purpose

A Writing Assignment on “Ripe Figs”

The Assignment

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

The Student’s Analysis Analyzed

Critical Thinking and the Study of Literature

3—THE READER AS WRITER: DRAFTING AND WRITING

Pre-writing: Getting Ideas

Annotating a Text

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

Kate Chopin: “The Story of an Hour”

Brainstorming for Ideas for Writing

Focused Free Writing

Listing

Asking Questions

Keeping a Journal

Critical Thinking: Arguing with Yourself

Arriving at a Thesis and Arguing It

Writing a Draft

A Sample Draft: “Ironies in an Hour”

Revising a Draft

A Checklist for Revising for Clarity

Two Ways of Outlining a Draft

A Checklist for Reviewing a Revised Draft

Peer Review

The Final Version

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

Quick Review: From First Response to Final Version: Writing an Essay about a Literary Work

4—TWO FORMS OF CRITICISM: EXPLICATION AND ANALYSIS

Explication

A Sample Explication: Langston Hughes’s “Harlem”

Working toward an Explication of “Harlem”
Some Journal Entries
The Final Draft: “Langston Hughes’s ‘Harlem’ ”
The Analysis Analyzed
A Checklist: Drafting an Explication

Analysis: The Judgment of Solomon

Thinking about Form

Thinking about Character

Thoughts about Other Possibilities

For Further reading and Analysis: The Parable of the Prodigal Son NEW

Comparison: An Analytic Tool

A Checklist: Revising a Comparison

For Further Reading and Comparison: Gwendolyn Brooks’s “We Real Cool” NEW

Finding a Topic

Considering the Evidence

Organizing the Material

Communicating Judgments

Review: How to Write an Effective Essay

1. Pre-writing

2. Drafting

3. Revising

4. Editing
An Editing Checklist: Questions to Ask Yourself When Editing

For Further Reading, Explication, and Comparison: William Blake’s “The Tyger” NEW

5–OTHER KINDS OF WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE

A Summary

A Paraphrase

A Review

A Review of a Dramatic Production
A Sample Review: “An Effective Macbeth”

PART 2

Standing Back: Thinking Critically about Literature

6–LITERATURE, FORM, AND MEANING

Literature and Form

Literature and Meaning

Arguing about Meaning

Form and Meaning

Robert Frost, “The Span of Life”

Literature, Texts, Discourses, and Cultural Studies

Suggestions for Further Reading

7–WHAT IS INTERPRETATION?

Interpretation and Meaning
Is the Author’s Intention a Guide to Meaning?
Features of a Good Interpretation
An Example: Interpreting Pat Mora’s “Immigrants”
Thinking Critically about Literature
A Student Interpretation of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Sample Essay: “Stopping by Woods and Going On”

For Further Interpretation, Comparison, and Writing: Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” NEW

Suggestions for Further Reading

A Checklist: Writing an Interpretation NEW

8–WHAT IS EVALUATION?
Criticism and Evaluation
Are There Critical Standards?

Morality and Truth as Standards
Other Ways to Think about Truth and Realism

Suggestions for Further Reading

9–WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE: AN OVERVIEW

The Nature of Critical Writing
Some Critical Approaches

Formalist Criticism (New Criticism)
Deconstruction
Reader-Response Criticism
Archetypal (or Myth) Criticism
Historical Criticism

Marxist Criticism
The New Historicism
Biographical Criticism

Psychological (or Psychoanalytic) Criticism
Gender (Feminist, and Lesbian and Gay) Criticism

Suggestions for Further Reading

PART 3

Up Close: Thinking Critically about Literary Forms

10—WRITING ABOUT FICTION: THE WORLD OF THE STORY
Plot and Character

Writing about a Character
A Sample Essay on a Character: “Holden’s Kid Sister”
The Analysis Analyzed

Foreshadowing

Organizing an Essay on Foreshadowing

Setting and Atmosphere

Symbolism

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

Point of View

Third-Person Narrators

First-Person Narrators

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

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

Theme: Vision or Argument?

Determining and Discussing the Theme

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

Preliminary Notes
“Rising into Love” (essay on “A Worn Path”)
A Brief Overview of the Essay
A Checklist: Writing about Theme NEW

Basing the Paper on Your Own Responses
A Note on Secondary Sources

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

“ We All Participate in ‘The Lottery’ ”
The Analysis Analyzed
Suggestions for Further Reading

A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Fiction

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

11–GRAPHIC FICTION NEW

Letters and Pictures

Grant Wood’s “Death on the Ridge Road” (painting)

Topic for Writing

Reading an Image: A Short Story Told in One Panel

Tony Carillo’s “F Minus”

12–WRITING ABOUT DRAMA

A Sample Essay

Preliminary Notes
“The Solid Structure of The Glass Menagerie”

Types of Plays

Tragedy

A Checklist: Writing about Tragedy

Comedy Writing about Comedy
A Checklist: Writing about Comedy

Aspects of Drama

Theme

Plot

A Checklist: Writing about Plot

Characterization and Motivation

Conventions

Costumes, Gestures, and Settings

A Sample Essay on Setting in Drama

“ What the Kitchen in Trifles Tells Us”

The Analysis Analyzed

Suggestions for Further Reading

A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Drama

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

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

“Branagh’s Film of Hamlet”
A Checklist: Topics for Critical Thinking and Writing

13—WRITING ABOUT POETRY

The Speaker and the Poet

Emily Dickinson, “Wild Nights—Wild Nights”
The Language of Poetry: Diction and Tone
Edna St. Vincent Millay, “I, being born a woman and distressed”
Writing about the Speaker: Robert Frost’s “The Telephone”
Robert Frost, “The Telephone”
Journal Entries

Figurative Language

John Keats, “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”
Preparing to Write about Figurative Language

Imagery and Symbolism

William Blake, “The Sick Rose”

Structure

Robert Herrick, “Upon Julia’s Clothes”

Annotating and Thinking about a Poem
The Student’s Finished Essay: “Herrick’s Julia, Julia’s Herrick”
Some Kinds of Structure
Repetitive Structure

William Wordsworth, “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal”
Logical Structure

John Donne, “The Flea”
Verbal Irony
Paradox

Explication

A Sample Explication of Yeats’s “The Balloon of the Mind”
William Butler Yeats, “The Balloon of the Mind”

Rhythm and Versification: A Glossary for Reference

Rhythm

Meter

Patterns of Sound

Stanzaic Patterns

Blank Verse and Free Verse
Walt Whitman, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”

Preparing to Write about Prosody
Sample Essay on Metrics: “Sound and Sense in A. E. Housman’s ‘Eight O’Clock’”

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

Suggestions for Further Reading

A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Poetry

14–POEMS AND PICTURES NEW

A Poem and a Sample Student Essay

Vincent van Gogn, “The Starry Night” (painting)

Anne Sexton, “The Starry Night”

Sample Essay: “Two Ways of Looking at a Starry Night”

The Language of Pictures

Writing about Pictures

Comparing and Contrasting

William Notman, “Foes in ’76, Friends in ‘85” (photograph)

Analyzing and Evaluating Evidence

Thinking Critically: Arguing with Oneself,

Asking Questions, and Comparing–E.E. Cummings’s “Buffalo Bill’s”

A Writing Assignment: Connecting a Picture with a Work of Literature

Sample essay: “Two Views of Buffalo Bill”

15–WRITING ABOUT AN AUTHOR IN DEPTH

A Case Study: Writing about Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes, “The South”
Langston Hughes, “Ruby Brown”

Langston Hughes, “Ballad of the Landlord”
Sample essay: “A National Problem: Race and Racism in the Poetry of Langston Hughes”
A Brief Overview of the Essay

PART 4

Inside: Style, Format, and Special Assignments

16–STYLE AND FORMAT

Principles of Style

Get the Right Word

Write Effective Sentences

A Checklist for Revising for Conciseness

Write Unified and Coherent Paragraphs

A Checklist: Revising Paragraphs

Write Emphatically

Notes on the Dash and the Hyphen

Remarks about Manuscript Form

Basic Manuscript Form

Quotations and Quotation Marks

17–WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER

What Research Is Not, and What Research Is

Primary and Secondary Materials

Locating Material: First Steps

Other Bibliographic Aids

The Basics

Moving Ahead: Finding Sources for Research Work

What Does Your Own Institution Offer?

Taking Notes

Incorporating Your Reading into Your Thinking: The Art and Science of Synthesis NEW

Drafting Your Paper

Focus on Primary Sources

Documentation

What to Document: Avoiding Plagiarism
A Checklist for Avoiding Plagiarism
How to Document: Footnotes, Internal Parenthetical Citations, and a List of Works Cited (MLA Format)

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

A Checklist: Reading the Draft of a Research Paper

Electronic Sources

Encyclopedias: Print and Electronic Versions
The Internet/World Wide Web

Evaluating Sources on the World Wide Web

A Checklist: A Review for Using the World Wide Web

Documentation: Citing a Web Source

A Checklist: Citing World Wide Web Sources

APPENDIX A: TWO STORIES
James Joyce, “Araby”
Eudora Welty, “A Worn Path”

APPENDIX B: GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS

APPENDIX C: HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CITING SOURCES? A QUIZ WITH ANSWERS

CREDITS

INDEX OF AUTHORS, TITLES, AND FIRST LINES OF POEMS

INDEX OF TERMS

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