Literature: Reading to Write

Literature: Reading to Write

by Elizabeth Howells
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Literature: Reading to Write

Literature: Reading to Write masterfully weaves critical thinking skills, writing, and reading instruction using writing prompts, literary selections, and intriguing discussion points. Students transition from active readers to critical writers through a series of reading prompts and unique writing exercises. This process helps students find meaning in a broader context by forging connections between literature and their personal experiences. Additionally, the book features an eclectic array of classic and contemporary voices in literature as well as sections devoted to newer genres such as graphic novels. This interactive approach leaves students with the knowledge and confidence to write research papers and essays that are thought-provoking, engaging, and authentic to their true writing voice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780205834303
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 10/05/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 608
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Part I Reading and Writing About Literature

1. What Is Literature?

Literary Contexts: Authors Define Literature

Historical Contexts: Forms of Literature Through Time


Charles Perrault, “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood”

§ Literary Contexts: Defining Plot

Margaret Atwood, “There was Once”


Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias”

Comparing Themes

Adrienne Rich, “Diving into the Wreck”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “Constantly Risking Absurdity”

Reflecting on the Writing Process




Assignment: Reading to Write

2 Reading and Writing: Contexts for Thinking

Active Reading

Writing About Your Reading Experience

Thinking Critically About the Text


Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”

Critical Thinking Acts





§ Literary Contexts: Making Meaning of Fiction


Jane Martin, Beauty

§ Literary Contexts: Making Meaning of Drama

Literary Contexts: Making Meaning of Poetry



Comparing Themes

Sylvia Plath, “Metaphors”

Billy Collins, “Introduction to Poetry”

Assignments: Reading to Write

Sample Student Paper: Ashley Walden, Breaking Boundaries in Chopin’s “The

Story of an Hour”

Part II Writing in Response to Literature

3 Love and Symbolism: Interpreting Themes


Li Ho, “A Beautiful Girl Combs Her Hair”

Sir Thomas Wyatt, “I find no peace, and all my war is done”

Robert Herrick, “Upon Julia’s Clothes”

Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Indian Girl’s Song”

The Act of Interpretation

Accounting for Key Symbols and Other Elements

Taking Contexts into Account

William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18” and “Sonnet 130”

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Love Is Not All”

Wislawa Szymborska, “True Love”

Sharon Olds, “Sex without Love”

Beth Ann Fennelly,Why I Can't Cook for Your Self-Centered Architect



Guy DeMaupaussant, “The Necklace”

Bobbie Ann Mason, “Shiloh”

Writing an Interpretation: Reading for Meaning in Literature

Prewriting: Identifying a Topic

Forming an Interpretation: Offering a Big Idea

Bringing in Evidence: Close Reading for Textual Support

Shaping a Thesis: Constructing a Statement

Writing to Advance the Thesis: The Formal Essay

The Introduction

The Body

The Conclusion

Integrating and Citing Source Material

Revising, Editing, and Proofreading




Sample Student Paper: James Lewis, “Immoderate Desire” in Guy

DeMaupaussant’s “The Necklace”

4 A Study in Style: Analyzing Patterns

What does it mean when you say that a person has style?


WilliamWordsworth, “Nuns Fret Not”

§ Literary Contexts: Stanza Lengths and Sonnets

Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art”

§ Literary Contexts: The Villanelle

The Act of Analysis

Supporting Theme through Analysis

Finding Patterns through Analysis


e.e. cummings, “1(a”

§ Literary Contexts: Open-Form Poetry

Comparing Themes

Emily Dickinson, “Some Keep the Sabbath”

Gerard Manley Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur”

§ Critical Contexts: Formalist Criticism

Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Geraldine Brooks, “We Real Cool”

§ Literary Contexts: Scanning Lines of Poetry


Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

§ Literary Contexts: Realism


Toni Cade Bambara, “The Lesson”

§ Literary Contexts: Dialogue

Don DeLillo, “Videotape”

§ Literary Contexts: Reality

Tim O’Brien, “The Things they Carried”

§ Literary Contexts: Imagery

Writing an Analysis: The Elements of Style

Moving from Free Writes to Ideas

Finding a Focus

Shaping a Thesis

Finding Significance in Small Moments and Specific Details

Writing to Advance the Thesis

Making a Plan

Developing and Supporting Your Thesis

Revising to Polish


A Lesson in Style

Style Checklist



Sample Student Paper: Ashley Walden, Analyzing Stage Direction, Dialogue, and Memory in Williams’ The Glass Menagerie

5 Voice and Narration: Arguing for an Interpretation


John Updike, “A&P”

§ Critical Contexts: You Decide

William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”

§ Critical Contexts: A Historical/Feminist Approach to Miss Emily

The Act of Argument

The Writer: Evaluating Your Interpretation

The Text: Evaluating Your Analysis

The Readers: Evaluating Your Audience


Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess”

§ Historical Contexts: The Duke’s Two Wives

Comparing Themes

Christina Rossetti, “In an Artist’s Studio”

Marge Piercy, “Barbie Doll”

§ Historical Contexts: Comparing the Themes

Thomas Hardy, “Channel Firing”

Randall Jarrell, “Death of a Ball Turret Gunner”

§ Historical and Literary Contexts: The Literature of War

T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. A. Prufrock”

§ Literary Contexts: Making Meaning of Prufrock

Arguing an Interpretation

Using Visual Techniques to Discover Ideas


Jot Listing

Shaping a Persuasive Thesis


Writing to Advance the Thesis

Support Your Interpretation through Analysis

Support Your Argument by Addressing Counter-Arguments

Revising with Your Audience in Mind

Write the Introduction and Conclusion

Strengthen Weaker Paragraphs

Arrange Your Paragraphs

Decide Where to Handle Other Interpretations

Editing and Proofreading Your Argument

Sample Student Paper: Erin Christian, Effects of the Social Environment on

Emily Grierson in “A Rose for Emily”

6 Families and Their Characters: Comparing Works of Literature


Flannery O’Connor, “Everything that Rises Must Converge”

§ Literary Contexts: Regionalism and the Grotesque

Comparing Themes: Identity

Alice Walker, “Everyday Use”

Amy Tan, “Two Kinds”

§ Critical Contexts: Assimilation versus Acculturation

The Act of Comparison

Choosing Two Texts to Compare

Charting Similarities and Differences

Analyzing and Interpreting the Comparisons


Comparing Themes: Growing

Rita Dove, “Adolescence I” and “Adolescence III”

Comparing Themes: Fathers

Judith Cofer, “Common Ground”

Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays”

Lucille Clifton, “forgiving my father”

Sylvia Plath, “Daddy”

Theodore Roethke, “My Papa’s Waltz”

Writing a Comparison and Contrast Essay

Discovering Similarities and Differences

Focusing on What Is Revealed

Shaping a Thesis

A Thesis Focused on Similarities

A Thesis Focused on Differences

Writing to Advance the Thesis

Revising for Coherence

Editing and Proofreading

Integrating Text from a Reading into Your Writing



Direct Quotation

Student Sample: Stephanie Roberts, Structure and Style in Lucille Clifton’s

“forgiving my father” and Plath’s “Daddy”: Renaming and Reclaiming

7 Oppression and Social Change: Using Critical Tools for Analytical Arguments


Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Yellow Wallpaper”

Critical Contexts: Feminist Criticism

Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”

Ursula LeGuin “The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas”

The Act of Seeing Through a Critical Perspective


Comparing Themes

Anne Bradstreet, “The Author to Her Book”

Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B”

Wole Soyinka, “Telephone Conversation”

Julio Marzan “Ethnic Poetry”


Susan Glaspell, Trifles

Writing an Analytical Argument from a Critical Perspective

Considering Different Critical Perspectives

Rereading the Work in Light of the Perspective

Shaping a Thesis: Establishing the Critical Context

Writing to Advance the Thesis

Integrating and Citing Source Material

Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

Sample Student Paper: Stephanie Roberts, Policing Domesticity: Cultural Surveillance in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles

Part III Experiencing Contemporary Literature

8 Laughing Out Loud: Getting to Know Comic Literature

From Someone Who Knows: Dave Barry on Being Funny

Bryan Curtis, "On Dave Barry: Elegy for the Humorist"

A Genre You Know: Stand-Up Comedy

A Genre You Might Like to Know: Comic Essays

David Sedaris, “The Drama Bug”

Sarah Vowell, "Shooting Dad"

Knowing Where We Came From: Comedy in the Theatre

§ Want to Know More? The Language of Comedy

Writing About Your Experience with Literature

9 Viewing Words and Reading Pictures: Getting to Know Graphic Novels

From Someone Who Knows: Scott McCloud on Understanding Comics

Excerpt from Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics

§ Want to Know More? Graphic Novels versus Literature

A Genre You Know: Comic Strips

Charles Schulz, Snoopy

Aaron McGruder, The Boondocks

A Genre You Might Like to Know: The Superhero Graphic Novel

Excerpt from Alan Moore and David Lloyd, V for Vendetta

Another Kind of Graphic Novel: A Memoir

Excerpt from Art Speigelman, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale

Knowing Where We Come From: The Evolution of Comics

Writing About Your Experience with Literature

10 Thrilled and Chilled: Getting to Know Horror in Literature

From Someone Who Knows: Stephen King on Horror

Stephen King, "Why We Crave Horror Stories"

A Genre You Know: Stephen King stories

A Horror Story You Might Like: A Real-Life Devil

Joyce Carol Oates, “Where are you going, where have you been?”

§ Want to Know More? Source Material for Oates' Story

Excerpt from Don Moser, “The Pied Piper of Tuscon”

Bob Dylan, “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”

Knowing Where We Come From: Edgar Allan Poe

Writing About Your Experience with Literature

11 Listening to Music: Experiencing Stories in Rhythm

From Someone Who Knows: Paul Simon on Songwriting

Richard Harrington, "Music, Lyrics in Their Best Order"

A Genre You Know: Songs

The Zombies, “A Rose for Emily”

Fiona Apple, “Sleep to Dream”

The Magnetic Fields, “ I Don’t Want to Get Over You”

Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”

The Decemberists, “The Crane Wife 1 and 2”

A Genre You Might Like to Know: Spoken-Word Poetry

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, “Lit”

Vince Cavasin, “I have not gone marking (with apologies to Pablo


Debora Marsh, “Unbreakable Glass--a poem for my daughter”

Scott Woods, “I, Nightmare”

Knowing Where We Come From: Oral Literature

Writing About Your Experience with Literature

Songs with Literary References: A Selective List

12 Exploring the Alternative: Getting to Know Experimental Literature

From Someone Who Knows: Claes Oldenburg on Experimental Art

An Experimental Artist You Know: Eve Ensler, dramatist

Experimental Artists You Might Like to Know: Lydia Davis and Chris Bachelder

Lydia Davis, “Boring Friends,” “A Mown Lawn,” “Interesting,” and

“The Old Dictionary”

Chris Bachelder, “Blue Knights Bounced from CVD Tourney,” “My

Beard Reviewed,” and "Notes Toward the Lay Report on the Joy Debt"

Knowing Where We Come From: The Experimental Poetry of Gertrude Stein

§ Want to Know More? A Suggested Reading List of Experimental Writers

Writing About Your Experience with Literature

Part IV Research for Writing

13 Developing a Topic and Stating a Thesis

Choosing a Text

Read. Re-read. Read again.

Posing a Research Question

Answering Your Question with a Tentative Thesis

Conducting Preliminary Research

Assignment: Drafting a Proposal

Sample Student Writing: A Research Proposal by Erin Christian

14 Finding and Evaluating Sources

Considering Research Sources

Beginning Your Research and Developing Search Terms

Interlibrary Loan

Locating Background Information

Locating Literary Criticism

Locating Historical and Cultural Works

Evaluating Sources

Ask the Expert!

Taking Good Notes

The Reading/Research Dialectic

A Tentative Timeline: 10 Steps to a Successful Research Project

Assignment: Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Sample Student Writing: An Annotated Bibliography by Erin Christian

15 Understanding Critical Perspectives

Reading the Critics

A Quick Look Back at Schools of Critical Thought

A Critical Casebook on Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art”

Reading 1: Excerpt from Joanne Fiet Diehl, Women Poets and the American Sublime

Reading 2: Excerpt from Elizabeth Dodd, The Veiled Mirror and the Woman Poet

Reading 3: Excerpt from Susan McCabe, Elizabeth Bishop: Her Poetics of Loss

Reading 4: Excerpt from Anne Colwell, “Geography III: The Art of Losing”

A Critical Casebook on Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson”

Reading 1: Jerome Cartwright, “Bambara’s 'The Lesson'”

Reading 2: Excerpt from Janet Carey Eldred, “Narratives of Socialization:

Literacy in the Short Story"

Reading 3: Excerpt from Janet Ruth Heller, “Toni Cade Bambara’s Use of

African American Vernacular English in ‘The Lesson’”

A Critical Casebook on Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie

Reading 1: Tennessee Williams, “How to Stage The Glass Menagerie”

Reading 2: Excerpt from Lewis Nichols, Review

Reading 3: Excerpt from Nancy M. Tischler, Student Companion to

Tennessee Williams

Reading 4: Excerpt from C.W.E. Bigsby, “Entering The Glass


Reading 5: Excerpt from Judith J. Thompson, Tennessee Williams’ Plays

16 Integrating Primary and Secondary Sources

Some Organizing Principles

Drafting Body Paragraphs

Verb Tenses in Writing about Literature

Integrating Sources



Direct Quotation

Quotations that become part of your sentence

Quoting larger amounts of text (block quotations)

Common Knowledge

Avoiding Plagiarism

Sample Student Writing: Erin Christian, On Loss in Elizabeth Bishop's

"One Art"

17 Using the MLA Style of Documentation

Preparing to Cite Sources

Using the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style

Citations in the Paper

Works Cited at the End of the Paper

Books and Material from Books

Articles from Print Periodicals

Electronic and Online Sources

Other Media

Glossary of Literary Terms

Student Biographies



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