Writing Essays About Literature

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-01-25
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
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Widely used in introductory literature courses as a style guide or as a supplement to anthologies, this book provides valuable guidelines for interpreting literature and writing essays. It includes full-length selections as well as essays.

Table of Contents

Interpreting Literature
Strategies for Interpreting Literature
Why Do People Read Literature?
What Is Meaning?
What Is Interpretation?
How Do We Interpret?
Checklist for Interpreting Literature
Work Cited
What is Literature?
Literature Is Language
Literature Is Fictional
Walt Whitman, Cavalry Crossing a Ford
Literature Is True
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, My Friend, the Things that Do Attain
Literature Is Aesthetic
Literature Is Intertextual
Christopher Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Sir Walter Raleigh, The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd
Checklist for the Elements of Literature
Works Cited
Interpreting Fiction
The Elements of Fiction
Point of View
Other Elements
Checklist for Interpreting Fiction
Works Cited
Interpreting Drama
The Nature of Drama
The Elements of Drama
Checklist for Interpreting Drama
Works Cited and Consulted
Interpreting Poetry
What Is Poetry?
Emily Bront?, The Night Is Darkening Round Me
Sensein Poetry: Elements that Convey Meaning
Getting the Facts Straight (Reading a Poem the First Time)
"A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal."
"Song for a Lyre."
Characterization, Point of View, Plot, and Setting
"In the Nursing Home."
"Dover Beach."
"My Last Duchess."
Imagery: Descriptive Language
Imagery: Figurative Language
"Love Is a Sickness."
"There Is a Garden in Her Face."
"The Sick Rose."
The Sound of Poetry: Musical Elements
"Sonnet 129."
Word Sounds
"To Helen."
Structure: Devices that Organize
Blank Verse
Rhyme Scheme
Fixed and Nonce Forms
The Sonnet
"Sonnet 116."
"I, Being Born a Woman."
The Ballad
"The Daemon Lover."
Common Meter
"Because I Could Not Stop for Death."
The Haiku
Matsuo Basho, haiku
Taniguchi Buson, haiku
Kobayashi Issa, haiku
Free Verse
Psalm 23
"Road to the Yoshiwara."
The Villanelle
"One Art."
Sight: The Visual Qualities of Poetry
Visual Poetry
George Herbert, Easter Wings
Modern Poetry. e. e. cummings, "l(a."
"We Real Cool."
Checklist for Interpreting Poetry
Works Cited
Specialized Approaches to Interpreting Literature
Literary Criticism
Cites of Meaning
Literary Theory
The Work
Anglo-American Criticism
Archetypal Criticism
The Author
Historical and Biographical Criticism
New Historicist
The Reader
European Reader-Response Criticism
American Reader-Response Criticism
All of Reality
Psychological Criticism
Marxist Criticism
Feminist and Gender Criticism
Writing About Literature
Writing about Literature
Why Write about Literature?
How Can You Write about Literature?
The Writing Process First Stage: Inventing
Second Stage: Drafting
Third Stage: Revising
Fourth Stage: Editing and Publishing
Choosing Topics
Preliminary Steps
Be an Active Reader
Identify Your Audience
Raise Questions about the Work
Narrow Your Topic
Search Strategies
Focus on the Work's Conventions (Its Formal Qualities)
Use Topoi (Traditional Patterns of Thinking)
Respond to Comments by Critics
Draw from Your Own Knowledge
Talking and Writing Strategies
Talk Out Loud
Make Outlines
Create Graphic Organizers
Make Notes
Keep a Journal
Sample Essay about Literature
"Paradise Rejected in Homer's Odyssey."
Comments on the Essay
Checklist for Choosing Topics Works Cited
Drafting the Essay
The Argumentative Nature of Interpretive Essays
The Structure of Essays about Literature
The Argumentative Structure
The Rhetorical Structure
Guidelines for Writing First Drafts
Keep in Mind the Needs of Your Audience
Avoid Extreme Subjectivity (Overuse of "I")
Draw Up a Rough Outline
Begin Writing
Use Sound Deductive Reasoning
Support Key Claims with Facts
Use Sound Inductive Reasoning
Define Key Terms
Organize Evidence According to a Coherent Plan
Make Comparisons Complete and Easy to Follow
Checklist for Drafting the Essay
Works Cited
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
Rules of Usage
Citations of Sources
Other Rules of Usage Related to Essays about Literature
Physical Format
Sample Essay in Two Drafts
Early Draft
Comments on the Early Draft
Final Draft
"A Comparison of Mary and Warren in Robert Frost's 'The Death of the Hired Man'"
Comments on the Final Draft
Checklist for Revising and Editing
Works Cited
Documentation and Research
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
Research Papers and the Use of Secondary Sources
How to Find Information and Opinions about Literature
Library Catalogs and Stacks
Library Reference Area
Library Periodicals Area
Information and Opinion on the Web
Evaluating the Quality of Internet Sites
Giving Credit to Sources
Why Should You Give Credit?
When Should You Give Credit?
Where Should You Give Credit?
Correct Documentary Form
Guidelines for Parenthetical Citations
Guidelines for Using Footnotes and Endnotes
Guidelines and Form for the Works Cited List: General Rules
Sample Entries for Non-periodical Print Materials
Sample Entry for Periodical Publications in Print
Sample Entries for Web Publications
Sample Entries for Other Nonprint Sources
Frequently Used Abbreviations
Sample Research Paper
"The Monster's Education in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein."
Comments on the Research Paper
Checklist for Documentation and Research
Taking Essay Tests
Guidelines for Taking Essay Tests
Sample Test Essays
Essay 1 (A Mediocre Essay)
Comments on Essay 1
Essay 2 (A Good Essay)
Comments on Essay 2
Essay 3 (A Very Good Essay)
Comments on Essay 3
Checklist for Taking Essay Tests
Sample Essays
Essay on a Poem
"Point of View in Edwin Arlington Robinson's 'Richard Cory'."
Essay on a Short Story
"Montresor's Fate in Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Cask of Amontillado'."
Essay on a Play
"The Meaning of Physical Objects in Susan Glaspell's Trifles."
Essay on a Novel
"First Love, Lost Love in George Eliot's Adam Bede."
"Richard Cory" (1897)
"The Death of the Hired Man" (1914)
Short Stories
"Hills Like White Elephants" (1927)
"Yours" (1983)
"The Cask of Amontillado" (1847)
Susan Glaspell, Trifles (1916)
Index of Concepts and Terms
Index of Critics, Authors, and Works
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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