Writing About Literature - Brief / Edition 11

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Writing about Literature serves as a hands-on guide for writing about literature, thus justifying the integration of literature and composition. The reading of literature encourages students to think, and the use of literary topics gives instructors a viable way to combine writing and literary study.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131540569
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 8/11/2005
  • Series: MySearchLab Series for Literature Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 11
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 865,764
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

To the Instructor

Chapter 1 Preliminary: The Process of Reading, Responding to, and Writing About Literature

What Is Literature, and Why Do We Study It?

Types of Literature: The Genres

Reading Literature and Responding to It Actively


Reading and Responding in a Notebook or Computer File

Writing Essays on Literary Topics

The Goal of Writing: To Show a Process of Thought

Three Major Stages in Thinking and Writing: Discovering Ideas, Making Initial Drafts, and Completing the Essay

Discovering Ideas (“Brainstorming”)

Assembling Materials and Beginning to Write

Drafting Your Essay

Writing a First Draft

Developing an Outline

The Use of References and Quotations in Writing About Literature

Illustrative Essay (First Draft): How Setting in “The Necklace” Is Related to the Character of Mathilde

Developing and Strengthening Your Essay Through Revision

Checking Development and Organization

Using Exact, Comprehensive, and Forceful Language

Illustrative Essay (Revised Draft): How Maupassant Uses Setting in “The Necklace” to Show the Character of Mathilde

Commentary on the Essay

Essay Commentaries

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing the Writing Process

Chapter 2 Writing About a Close Reading: Analyzing Entire Short Poems or Selected Short Passages from Fiction, Longer Poems, and Plays

The Purpose and Requirements of a Close-Reading Essay

The Location of the Passage in a Longer Work

Writing About the Close Reading of a Passage in a Prose Work, Drama, or Longer Poem

Illustrative Essay: Reading a Passage in Mark Twain’s“Luck”

Commentary on the Essay

Writing an Essay on the Close Reading of a Poem

Illustrative Essay: A Close Reading of Thomas Hardy’s “The Man He Killed”

Commentary on the Essay

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing the Close Reading of Literary Works

Chapter 3 Writing About Character: The People inLiterature

Character Traits

How Authors Disclose Character in Literature

Types of Characters: Round and Flat

Reality and Probability: Verisimilitude

Writing About Character

Illustrative Essay: The Character of Minnie Wright in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles

Commentary on the Essay

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing Character

Chapter 4 Writing About Point of View: The Position or Stance of the Work’s Narrator or Speaker

An Exercise in Point of View: Reporting an Accident

Conditions That Affect Point of View

Determining a Work’s Point of View

Mingling Points of View

Summary: Guidelines for Point of View

Writing About Point of View

Illustrative Essay: Bierce’s Control of Point of View in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”

Commentary on the Essay

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing Point of View

Chapter 5 Writing About Plot and Structure: The Development and Organization of Narratives and Drama

Plot: The Motivation and Causation of Narratives and Plays

Writing About the Plot of a Story or Play

Illustrative Essay (on Plot): Conflicting Values in Thomas Hardy’s “The Three Strangers”

Commentary on the Essay

Structure: The Organization of Fiction, Poetry, and Drama

Formal Categories of Structure

Formal and Actual Structure

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold

Writing About Structure in Fiction, Poetry, and Drama

Illustrative Essay (on Structure): Conflict and Suspense in Thomas Hardy’s“The Three Strangers”

Commentary on the Essay

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing Plot and Structure

Chapter 6 Writing About Setting: The Background of Place, Objects, and Culture in Literature

What Is Setting?

The Importance of Setting in Literature

Writing About Setting

Illustrative Essay: Poe’s Use of Interior Setting to Augment the Eeriness of“The Masque of the Red Death”

Commentary on the Essay

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing Setting

Chapter 7 Writing About an Idea or a Theme: The Meanings and the Messages in Literature

Ideas and Assertions

Ideas and Values

The Place of Ideas in Literature

How to Find Ideas

Writing About a Major Idea in Literature

Illustrative Essay: The Idea of Love’s Power in Chekhov’s The Bear

Commentary on the Essay

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing Ideas

Chapter 8 Writing About Symbolism and Allegory: Keys to Extended Meaning



Fable, Parable, and Myth

Allusion in Symbolism and Allegory

Writing About Symbolism and Allegory

Illustrative Essay: Symbolism in William Butler Yeats’s “The Second Coming”

Commentary on the Essay

Illustrative Essay: The Allegory of Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”

Commentary on the Essay

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing Symbolism and Allegory

Chapter 9 Writing About a Work in Its Historical, Intellectual, and Cultural Context

History, Culture, and Multiculturalism

Literature in Its Time and Place

Writing About a Work in Its Historical and Cultural Context

Illustrative Essay: Hughes’s References to Black Servitude and Black Pride in “Negro”

Commentary on the Essay

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing Works in Their Historical, Intellectual, and Cultural Context

Chapter 10 Writing Essays of Comparison-Contrast and Extended Comparison-Contrast: Learning by Seeing Literary Works Together

Guidelines for the Comparison-Contrast Method

The Extended Comparison-Contrast Essay

Writing a Comparison-Contrast Essay

Illustrative Essay (Comparing and Contrasting Two Works): The Implication of “Westward” in Wordsworth’s “Stepping Westward” and Donne’s“Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward”

Commentary on the Essay

Illustrative Essay (Extended Comparison-Contrast): Literary Treatments of Conflicts Between Private and Public Life

Commentary on the Essay

Special Topics for Studying and Discussing Comparison and Contrast

Appendix A Writing Examinations on Literature

Appendix B Critical Approaches Important in the Study of Literature

Appendix C MLA Recommendations for Documenting Electronic Sources

Appendix D Works Used for References and Illustrative Essays


AMBROSE BIERCE, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

KATE CHOPIN, The Story of an Hour

ANITA SCOTT COLEMAN, Unfinished Masterpieces

THOMAS HARDY, The Three Strangers



GUY DE MAUPASSANT, The Necklace [in Chapter 1]

FRANK O’CONNOR, First Confession

EDGAR ALLAN POE, The Masque of the Red Death






JOHN DONNE, Good Friday, Riding Westward

ROBERT FROST, Desert Places

ROBERT FROST, The Road Not Taken

THOMAS HARDY, Channel Firing

THOMAS HARDY, The Man He Killed


JOHN KEATS, Bright Star

IRVING LAYTON, Rhine Boat Trip

AMY LOWELL, Patterns

WILFRED OWEN, Anthem for Doomed Youth

DUDLEY RANDALL, Ballad of Birmingham


WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Sonnet 30: When to the Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold [in Chapter 5]







A Glossary of Important Literary Terms


Index of Authors and Titles, Topics, Directors, Producers, and Chapter Titles

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