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A Brief Guide to Arguing About Literature

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2019-11-05
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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More and more, first-year writing courses foreground skills of critical analysis and argumentation. In response, A Brief Guide to Arguing about Literature first hones students’ analytical skills through instruction in close critical reading of texts; then, it shows them how to turn their reading into well-supported and rhetorically effective argumentative writing. For instructors who prefer to aggregate their own anthology of readings and literary works for their literature-based composition courses, A Brief Guide to Arguing about Literature comprises only the writing-guide chapters of John Schilb and John Clifford’s admired Arguing about Literature: Guide and Reader.

Achieve with Schilb, Arguing about Literature, puts student reading, writing, and revision at the core of your course, with interactive close reading modules, reading comprehension quizzes for the selections in the book, videos of professional writers and students discussing literary works, and a dedicated composition space that guides students through draft, review, source check, reflection, and revision. For details, visit macmillanlearning.com/college/us/englishdigital.

Table of Contents

Preface for Instructors 
Contents by Genre
1. What is Argument? 
       Paul Goldberger, Disconnected Urbanism
       Understanding Rhetoric
The Elements of Argument
Sample Argument for Analysis
              David W. Barno, A New Moral Compact
              Writing a Response to an Argument
       Strategies for Analyzing an Argument So You Can Write a Response to It
 An Argument for Analysis
       Regina Rini, Should We Rename Institutions that Honor Dead Racists?

2.   Writing Effective Arguments
Strategies for Developing an Effective Style of Argument
Structuring Your Argument; Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay
Student Response to an Argument
               Justin Korzack, How to Slow Down the Rush to War
Arguments for Analysis
Lee Siegel, Why I Defaulted on My Student Loans
  *Afshan Jafar, Not a Fan of Fat Shaming? Stop Thin Praising

3. How Do You Argue about Literature?
What Is Literature?
Why Study Literature in a College Writing Course?
A Story for Analysi
               Jamaica Kincaid, Girl (story)
Strategies for Making Arguments about Literature
Sample Student Argument about Literature
               Ann Schumwalt, The Mother’s Mixed Messages in “Girl”
Looking at Literature as Argument
               John Milton, When I Consider How My Light Is Spent (poem)
               Robert Frost, Mending Wall (poem)
 Literature and Current Issues
         Rivka Galchen, Usl at the Stadium (story)
 *Cole Stryker, The Problem with Public Shaming
 *Laila Lalami, The Social Shaming of Racists is Working

4.   The Reading Process
Strategies for Close Reading
A Poem for Analysis
              Sharon Olds, “Summer Solstice, New York City” (poem)
Applying the Strategies
Reading Closely by Annotating
 *Emily Skillings, Girls Online (poem)
Further Strategies for Close Reading
             Use Topics of Literary Studies to Get Ideas
             Lynda Hull, Night Waitress (poem)

5.  The Writing Process
 *Rachel Kadish, Letters Arrive from the Dead (story)
Strategies for Exploring
Strategies for Planning
Strategies for Composing
First Draft of a Student Paper
Strategies for Revising
               A Checklist for Revising
Revised Draft of a Student Paper
Strategies for Writing a Comparative Paper
               Don Paterson, Two Trees (poem)
               Luisa A. Igloria, Regarding History (poem)
               List Similarities and Differences
               Consider “Weighting” Your Comparison
A Student Comparative Paper
               Jeremy Cooper, ”Don Paterson’s Criticism of Nature’s Owners”

6.  Writing about Literary Genres
Writing about Stories
               Eudora Welty, A Visit of Charity (story)
The Elements of Short Fiction 
               Plot and Structure/Point of View / Characters /Setting /Imagery/ Language/ Theme
Final Draft of a Student Paper
               Tanya Vincent, The Real Meaning of Charity in “A Visit of Charity”
Writing about Poems 
               Mary Oliver, Singapore  (poem)
               Yusef Komunyakaa, Blackberries (poem)
                Edwin Arlington Robinson, The Mill (poem)
The Elements of Poetry
               Speaker and Tone / Diction and Syntax / Figures of Speech / Sound/ Rhythm and Meter /Theme
Final Draft of a Student Paper
               Michaela Fiorucci, “Negotiating Boundaries”
Writing about Plays
                August Strindberg, The Stronger (play)
The Elements of Drama 
                Plot and Structure/ Characters/ Stage Directions and Setting /Imagery /Language/ Theme
Final Draft of a Student Paper
               Trish Carlisle, “Which Is the Stronger Actress in August Strindberg’s Play?”
7. Writing Researched Arguments
      Begin Your Research by Giving It Direction
Search for Sources in the Library and Online
Evaluate the Sources  
        Record Your Sources’ Key Details
Strategies for Integrating Sources
New Avoid Plagiarism
Strategies for Documenting Sources (MLA Format) 
                MLA In-Text Citation  
                MLA Works Cited  
Three Annotated Student Researched Arguments
An Argument that Uses a Literary Work to Examine Social Issues
               Sarah Michaels, “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a Guide to Social Factors in Postpartum Depression
An Argument that Deals with Existing Interpretations of a Literary Work
               Katie Johnson, The Meaning of the Husband’s Fainting in “The Yellow Wall-Paper”
An Argument that Places a Literary Work in Historical and Cultural Context
               Brittany Thomas, The Relative Absence of the Human Touch in “The Yellow Wall-Paper”
 Contexts for Research:  Confinement,  Mental Illness and “The Yellow Wallpaper”
 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
 Cultural Contexts
               Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Why I Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”
               S. Weir Mitchell, From The Evolution of the Rest Treatment
               John Harvey Kellogg, From The Ladies’ Guide in Health and Disease


*8. Evaluating Internet Resources in a Post-Truth Age

Evaluating Written Arguments You Find on the Internet
Wendy Brenner, Prayer for Gluten (poem)
Varda He, Restaurants should be more aware of celiac, gluten-free diet limits
Critically Analyzing Web Sites’ Truth Claims

Understanding Strategies in Visual Arguments on the Internet
*Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est (poem)
*British WWI recruitment poster
*Linda Hogan, Song for the Turtles in the Gulf (poem)
*Environmental ads
*WH Auden, Refugee Blues (poem)
*Cartoon: “No room, you’ll sink us!”
 *Alberto Ríos, The Border: A Double Sonnet (poem)
 *Map: U.S.-Mexico border
*Katie Bickham, The Ferryman (poem)
*Graph: Mass Shootings in 2018
Identifying Biases You Might Bring to Your Internet Research


Appendix: Writing with Critical Approaches to Literature 
 Contemporary Schools of Criticism
             New Criticism; Feminist Criticism; Psychoanalytic Criticism; Marxist Criticism; Deconstruction; Reader-Response Criticism; Postcolonial Criticism; New Historicism; Queer Theory
Working with the Critical Approaches
           James Joyce, Counterparts (story)
           Molly Fry, A Refugee at Home (student paper)
           James Joyce, Eveline


Supplemental Materials

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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