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Widely used in introductory literature courses as a style guide or as a supplement to anthologies, this text provides students with valuable guidelines for interpreting literature and writing essays.
Part I: INTERPRETING LITERATURE. 1. Strategies for Interpreting Literature. Why Do People Read Literature? What Is Interpretation? How Do We Interpret? 2. What Is Literature? Literature Is Language. Literature Is Fictional. Literature Is True. Literature Is Aesthetic. Literature Is Intertextual. 3. Interpreting Fiction. The Nature of Fiction. The Elements of Fiction. Other Elements. 4. Interpreting Drama. The Nature of Drama. The Elements of Drama. 5. Interpreting Poetry. The Elements of Poetry. 6. Specialized Approaches to Interpreting Literature. Literary Criticism and Theory. Places for Interpretation. The Work. The Author. The Reader. All of Reality. Part II: WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE. 7. Strategies for Writing about Literature. Why Write about Literature? How Can You Write about Literature? The Writing Process. 8. Choosing Topics. Preliminary Steps in Choosing a Topic. Search Strategies. Talking and Writing Strategies. Sample Essay about Literature. 9. Drafting the Essay. The Argumentative Nature of Interpretive Essays. The Structure of Essays about Literature. Guidelines for Writing First Drafts. 10. Revising and Editing. Revise Throughout the Writing Process. Revise for the Final Draft. Write a Clear and Readable Prose Style. Have Other People Read and Respond to Your Draft. Edit the Final Draft. Physical Format. Sample Essay in Two Drafts. 11. Documentation and Research. Primary Sources. Secondary Sources. Research Papers and the Use of Secondary Sources. How to Find Information and Opinions about Literature. Giving Credit to Sources. Correct Documentary Form. Frequently Used Abbreviations. Sample Research Paper. 12. Taking Essay Tests. Guidelines for Taking Essay Tests. Sample Test Essays. 13. Sample Essays. Essay on a Poem. Essay on a Short Story. Essay on a Play. Essay on a Novel. Index of Concepts and Terms. Index of Critics, Authors, and Works.
Posted September 25, 2004
I've been teaching since 1984, at the college level since 1990. This is the most complete, clearest, and best-written textbook I've ever found on writing literature essays and research papers. It includes not only style, but a short introduction to various schools of literary criticism, which I use as a way to help my students understand the breadth of questions that can be asked about literature. One section of the text includes a comparison of three answers for a single question on an essay test--an element not available in that comparative form in any other textbook or style guide, so far as I can find. I studied under Dr. Griffith and only then happened to find his book, not because he referred to it but because a publisher's rep brought it to campus. Dr. Griffith's teaching style is as clear as his book. I'm very sorry he has now retired, but I am very grateful he has left this textbook for our use. I suggest that any literature teacher or student purchase it before it goes out of print--and I hope it stays in print for many years to come.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.