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Click here to find out more about the 2009 MLA Updates and the 2010 APA Updates.
Writing about Literature introduces strategies for reading literature, explains the writing process and common writing assignments for literature courses, provides instruction in writing about fiction, poetry, and drama, and includes coverage of writing a research paper and of literary criticism and theory.
This volume in Bedford/St. Martin’s popular series of Portable Anthologies and Guides offers the series’ trademark combination of high quality and great value for teachers looking to assign supplementary instruction on reading and writing about literature to their students.
Introduction: Writing about Literature
1. The Role of Good Reading
The Value of Rereading/ Critical Reading/ The Myth of "Hidden Meaning"
* Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Kubla Khan"
Annotating/ Notetaking/ Journal Keeping /Using Reference Materials
Asking Critical Questions of Literature
Ben Jonson, "On My First Son"
Questions about the Text/ Questions about the Author/ Questions about the Reader/ Questions about the Cultural Context
* Tips for Good Reading
2. The Writing Process
Choosing a Topic
Developing an Argument
*Deciding on a Thesis
Gathering Support for Your Thesis
* Organizing Your Paper
Drafting, Revising, and Editing
*Prewriting / Revising/ Global Revision/Local Revision / Final Editing and Proofreading
* Tips for Drafting, Revising, and Editing
Peer Editing and Workshops
Tips for Writing about Literature
Using Quotations Effectively
Adding or Altering a Quotation /Omitting Words from a Quotation /Quotations within Quotations /Quotation Marks with Other Punctuation
Quoting from Stories
Quoting from Poems
Quoting from Plays
Tips for Quoting
3. Common Writing Assignments
* Robert Herrick, Upon Julia’s Clothes
* Sample Explication of ""Upon Julia’s Clothes"
* Robert Browining, "My Last Duchess"
* Sample Analysis of "My Last Duchess"
Comparison and Contrast
* Christina Rosetti, "After Death"
* Sample Comparison of "My Last Duchess" and "After Death"
4. Writing about Stories
Elements of Fiction
Characters/ Point of View / Setting /Theme/ Symbolism /Style
Two Stories for Analysis
Kate Chopin, "The Story of an Hour"
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Sample Comparison-Contrast Paper
Melanie Smith, "Good Husbands and Bad Marriages"
5. Writing about Poems
Elements of Poetry
* The Speaker / The Listener / Imagery / Sound and Sense / Patterns of Sound / End-rhymes / Assonance and Consonance / Form /Meter / Stanzas /Lineation
A Poem for Analysis
William Shakespeare, "Let me not to the marriage of true minds"
Sample Explication Paper
Patrick McCorkle, "Shakespeare Defines Love"
6. Writing about Plays
Elements of Drama
A Play for Analysis
Susan Glaspell, Trifles
Sample Analysis Paper
Sarah Johnson, "Moral Ambiguity and Character Development in Trifles"
7. Writing a Literary Research Paper
Books / Periodicals /Online Indexes / Abstracts / Interlibrary Loan / The Internet
Working with Sources
Quoting / Paraphrasing and Summarizing / Commenting / Keeping Track of Your Sources Writing the Paper Refine Your Thesis /Organize Your Evidence / Start Your Draft / Revise / Edit and Proofread
Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism
What to Document and What Not to Document
Documenting Sources: MLA Format
In Text Citations
Preparing the Works Cited List
Citing Books / Citing Periodicals /Citing Electronic Sources
Sample Research Paper
Jarrad Nunes, "Why Emily Dickinson Could Not Stop for Death: A Cultural Analysis"
8. Literary Criticism and Literary Theory
Formalism and New Criticism
Feminist and Gender Criticism
Historical Criticism and New Historicism
Reader Response Theories
Post-Structuralism and Deconstruction
* new to this edition