Reading Literature and Writing Argument

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/7/2016
  • Publisher: Pearson

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For courses in Literature for Composition, Writing Argument, Writing about Literature, and Introduction to Literature.

Enriches students’ reading and writing by connecting with ideas in the written text
The combined forces of literature and argument are inspiring and empowering—literature liberates thinking, and argument disciplines it. Reading Literature and Writing Argument takes the approach that writing is valued when it makes readers think. It offers multi-genre reading experiences that immerse students in critical and creative thinking as they address problems and issues from multiple perspectives. 

The authors encourage students to see language as a way to create meaning in their lives, and to see themselves as writers with a purpose and audience. By engaging with literature and applying the principles of argument, students practice the skills of analysis and evaluation and develop critical standards for judging ideas.

Also available with MyWritingLab™
This title is also available with MyWritingLab – an online homework, tutorial, and assessment program designed to work with this text to engage students and improve results. Within its structured environment, students practice what they learn, test their understanding, and pursue a personalized study plan that helps them better absorb course material and understand difficult concepts. 

Note: You are purchasing a standalone product; MyWritingLab does not come packaged with this content. Students, if interested in purchasing this title with MyWritingLab, ask your instructor for the correct package ISBN and Course ID. Instructors, contact your Pearson representative for more information.

If you would like to purchase both the physical text and MyWritingLab, search for:

0134272005 / 9780134272009  Reading Literature and Writing Argument Plus MyWritingLab without Pearson eText – Access Card Package
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Table of Contents


1. The Literature and Argument Connection

Academic Argument and Critical Inquiry

Reading Literature to Expand Thinking

Reading Literature to Explore an Issue

Reading Literature to Analyze Argument


2. Reading Literature

Improving Reading Skills

William Carlos Williams’s, “The Red Wheelbarrow”

Expanding Thinking

Theodore Roethke’s, “My Papa’s Waltz”

Raymond Carver’s, from “Cathedral”

William Shakespeare’s, “Sonnet 130”

Exploring Issues

Arthur Miller, from The Crucible



Marge Piercy, “Barbie Doll”

Student Essay by Simone Weatherly, “Life as Plastic”

J. G. Ballard, “The Subliminal Man”

3. Analyzing Argument

Argument/Critical Thinking Connection

Components of an Argument


Kenneth Rexroth, “Cold before Dawn”

Ezra Pound, “In a Station of the Metro”

William Blake, “London”



Counterarguments: Concessions and Refutations

Logical Fallacies

Audience Appeal and Tone: Pathos, Logos, Ethos

Aristotle’s Basic Argument Model

Martín Espada, “Federico’s Ghost”

William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18”

Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”

Visual Argument



Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays”

Wilfred Owen, “Dulce Et Decorum Est”

Randy Horick, “Truer to the Game”


4. Researching and Documenting an Argument Essay

Working with Sources

Finding Credible Sources

Avoiding Plagiarism

Documentation Systems

The Preliminary Bibliography

The Annotated Bibliography

Incorporating Sources

Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Direct Quotations

InText Parenthetical Citations

Print Sources

Electronic Sources

The Works Cited Page

Annotated Student Essay

Josh Griep, “Wild Captives: The Exotic Animal Trade”

5. Creating an Argument

Planning an Argument

Creating an Informal Outline

Strategy Questions for Organizing Your Argument Essay

Creating a Draft

Writing a Thesis/Claim Statement


From Claim to Draft

Basic Tools for Designing Your Argument

Clarifying a Subject, Purpose, and Audience

Annotated Student Essay by Cale Blount, “The Last Words of Power”

Rogerian Argument: Creative Problem Solving

Rogerian Argument Organizational Plan

Annotated Student Essay by Christian Garcia, “A Bull’s Life”


Activities: Finding Ideas and Planning an Academic Argument




6. Individuality and Community



Truman Capote, “Jug of Silver”

Louise Erdrich, “The Red Convertible”

Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery”

Randall Kenan, “The Foundations of the Earth”

Ernesto Quiñonez, from Bodega Dreams



Michael Cleary, “Burning Dreams on the Sun”

Countee Cullen, “Incident”

Emily Dickinson, “Much Madness is divinest Sense”

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

Jack Gilbert, “Trying to Sleep”

Judy Grahn, “Ella, in a Square Apron, Along Highway 80”

Joy Harjo, “Everybody Has a Heartache: A Blues”

Claude McKay, “Outcast”

Dwight Okita, “In Response to Executive Order 9066”

Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”

Edwin Arlington Robinson, “Richard Cory”

Muriel Rukeyser, “The Lost Romans”

Cathy Song, “Lost Sister”

Gary Soto, “Mexicans Begin Jogging”

Wallace Stevens, “Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock”

Alma Luz Villanueva, “Crazy Courage”



John Hope Franklin, “The Train from Hate”

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Richard Rodriguez, “The Chinese in All of Us”

Fred Setterberg, “The Usual Story”

Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal”


Chapter Activities and Topics for Writing Arguments

Global Perspectives Research/Writing Topics

Collaboration Activity: Creating a Rogerian Argument

Arguing Themes from Literature


7. Crime and Punishment



Ambrose Bierce, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”

Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”

Kevin Crossley-Holland, “The Lay of Thrym”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Speckled


Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown”

Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

Edgar Allen Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado”

Edith Wharton, “The Choice”



A.   E. Housman, “The Use and Abuse of Toads”

Etheridge Knight, “Hard Rock Returns to Prison”

Don Marquis, “A Communication from Archy the Cockroach”

D. H. Lawrence, “Snake”



William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Macbeth



George Orwell, “A Hanging”

Edward Abbey, “Eco-Defense”

Francis Bacon, “Of Revenge”

Rhett Morgan, “Scene of the Crime: House’s History Stuns New Owner”

Courts Today, “The 2% Death Penalty: How a Minority of Counties Produce Most Death Cases at Enormous Costs to All”

George G. Vest, “Eulogy of the Dog”


Chapter Activities and Topics for Writing Arguments

Global Perspectives Research/Writing Topics

Collaboration Activity: Creating a Rogerian Argument

Sample Issue: Mandatory Sentencing for Distracted Drivers

Arguing Themes from Literature


8. Family and Identity



Kate Chopin, “The Storm”

Lydia Davis, “Break It Down”

Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants”

O. Henry, “The Gift of the Magi”

Katherine Mansfield, “The Garden Party”

Alice Walker, “Everyday Use”



Anne Bradstreet, “To My Dear and Loving Husband”

Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Mother”

Michael Cleary, “Boss’s Son”

Gregory Corso, “Marriage”

Nikki Giovanni, “Mothers”

Thomas Hardy, “The Ruined Maid”

Seamus Heney, “Mid-term Break”

Peter Meinke, “Advice to My Son”

Sharon Olds, “I Go Back to May, 1937”

Mary Oliver, “The Black Walnut Tree”

Dudley Randall, “Ballad of Birmingham”

Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”

Adrienne Rich, “Delta”

Anne Sexton, “Cinderella”

Gary Snyder, “Not Leaving the House”

Mark Strand, “The Continuous Life”

Margaret Walker, “Lineage”

Richard Wilbur, “The Writer”



Sullivan Ballou, “Major Sullivan Ballou’s Last Letter to His


Robin D. G. Kelley, “The People in Me”

Scott Russell Sanders, “The Men We Carry in Our Minds”

Amy Schalet, “The Sleepover Question”

George Will, “The Tangled Web of Conflicting Rights”


Chapter Activities and Topics for Writing Arguments

Global Perspectives Research/Writing Topics

Collaboration Activity: Creating a Rogerian Argument

Sample Issue: Same-Sex Marriage

Arguing Themes from Literature


9. Power and Responsibility



Raymond Carver, “Cathedral”

Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Birth-Mark”

Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried”

Virgil Suarez, “Bombardment”

Ed Vega, “Spanish Roulette”



Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Boy Died in My Alley”

Martín Espada, “Bully”

Carolyn Forché, “The Colonel”

Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”

Langston Hughes, “Democracy”

Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B”

Claude McKay, “America”

James Merrill, “Casual Wear”

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Apostrophe to Man”

John Milton, “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent”

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Famous”

Sharon Olds, “The Promise”

Linda Pastan, “Ethics”



         Susan Glaspell, “Trifles”



Chief Joseph,“I Will Fight No More Forever”

Allan Gurganus, “Captive Audience”

John F. Kennedy, “Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961”

Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have A Dream”

Abraham Lincoln, “Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865”

Katherine Anne Porter, “To Dr. William Ross”

Frank Schaeffer and John Schaeffer, “My Son the Marine?”

Richard Wright, from Black Boy


Chapter Activities and Topics for Writing Arguments

Global Perspectives Research/Writing Topics

Collaboration Activity: Creating a Rogerian Argument

Sample Issue: The Justice or Injustice of Reparations

Arguing Themes from Literature



Authors’ Biographical Notes

Text Credits

Author/Title Index

Subject Index 

Rewards Program

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