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Short Guide to Writing About Literature

Short Guide to Writing About Literature - 12th edition

Short Guide to Writing About Literature - 12th edition

ISBN13: 9780205118458

ISBN10: 0205118453

Short Guide to Writing About Literature by Sylvan Barnet - ISBN 9780205118458
Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 12TH 12
Copyright: 2012
Publisher: Longman, Inc.
International: No
Short Guide to Writing About Literature by Sylvan Barnet - ISBN 9780205118458

ISBN13: 9780205118458

ISBN10: 0205118453

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 12TH 12

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Part of Longman's successful Short Guide Series,A Short Guide to Writing about Literature emphasizes writing as a process and incorporates new critical approaches to writing about literature. The twelfth edition continues to offer students sound advice on how to become critical thinkers and enrich their reading response through accessible, step-by-step instruction.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface xv
Letter to Students xix
Jumping In
What Is Literature, and Why Write About It? 3
"The Vixen and the Lioness" 4
"I'm Nobody! Who are you?" 5
Why We Write about Literature 6
The Writing Process 8
A Checklist of Basic Matters 11
The Writer As Reader: Reading and Responding 12
"Ripe Figs" 12
The Act of Reading 13
Reading with a Pen in Hand 15
Recording Your First Responses 16
Audience and Purpose 17
A Writing Assignment on "Ripe Figs" 18
The Assignment 18
A Sample Essay: "Images of Ripening in Kate Chopin's 'Ripe Figs'" 18
The Student's Analysis Analyzed 20
Critical Thinking and the Study of Literature 21
The Reader as Writer: Drafting and Writing 23
Pre-writing: Getting Ideas 23
Annotating a Text 23
More about Getting Ideas: A Second Story by Kate Chopin, "The Story of an Hour" 24
Kate Chopin: "The Story of an Hour" 24
Brainstorming for Ideas for Writing 26
Focused Free Writing 27
Listing 28
Asking Questions 30
Keeping a Journal 31
Critical Thinking: Arguing with Yourself 32
Arriving at a Thesis and Arguing It 34
Writing a Draft 36
A Sample Draft: "Ironies in an Hour" 36
Revising a Draft 38
A Checklist for Revising for Clarity 39
Two Ways of Outlining a Draft 40
A Checklist for Reviewing a Revised Draft 41
Peer Review 42
The Final Version 44
Sample Essay: "Ironies of Life in Kate Chopin's 'The Story of an Hour'" 44
A Brief Overview of the Final Version 46
Quick Review 47
From First Responses to Final Version: Writing an Essay about a Literary Work 47
Two Forms of Criticism: Explication and Analysis 48
Explication 48
A Sample Explication: Langston Hughes's "Harlem" 48
Working toward an Explication of "Harlem" 50
Some Journal Entries 51
The Final Draft: "Langston Hughes's 'Harlem'" 53
A Brief Overview of the Essay 54
Topics for Discussion 55
A Checklist: Drafting an Explication 56
Analysis: The Judgment of Solomon 56
Thinking about Form 58
Thinking about Character 59
Thoughts about Other Possibilities 59
Comparison: An Analytic Tool 60
A Checklist: Revising a Comparison 63
Finding a Topic 64
Considering the Evidence 65
Organizing the Material 65
Communicating Judgments 66
Review: How to Write an Effective Essay 67
Pre-writing 67
Drafting 67
Revising 68
Editing 70
Editing Checklist: Questions to Ask Yourself When Editing 70
Other Kinds of Writing About Literature 72
A Summary 72
A Paraphrase 74
A Parody 76
A Review 77
A Review of a Dramatic Production 77
A Sample Review: "An Effective Macbeth" 78
Standing Back: Thinking Critically about Literature
Literature, Form, and Meaning 87
Literature and Form 87
Literature and Meaning 89
Arguing about Meaning 90
Form and Meaning 91
"The Span of Life" 91
The Literary Canon 93
Literature, Texts, Discourses, and Cultural Studies 94
Suggestions for Further Reading 95
What is Interpretation? 97
Interpretation and Meaning 97
Is the Author's Intention a Guide to Meaning? 98
Characteristics of a Good Interpretation 99
An Example: Interpreting Pat Mora's "Immigrants" 100
Thinking Critically about Literature 102
A Student Interpretation of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" 103
Sample Essay: "Stopping by Woods and Going On" 104
Suggestions for Further Reading 108
What Is Evaluation? 109
Criticism and Evaluation 110
Evaluative Language and the Canon 110
Are There Critical Standards? 111
Morality and Truth as Standards 111
Other Ways to Think about Truth and Realism 113
Suggestions for Further Reading 115
Writing about Literature: An Overview 116
The Nature of Critical Writing 117
Some Critical Approaches 117
Formalist Criticism (New Criticism) 118
Deconstruction 120
Reader-Response Criticism 121
Archetypal (or Myth) Criticism 123
Historical Criticism 124
Marxist Criticism 125
The New Historicism 125
Biographical Criticism 126
Psychological (or Psychoanalytic) Criticism 127
Gender (Feminist, and Lesbian and Gay) Criticism 128
Suggestions for Further Reading 131
Up Close: Thinking Critically about Literary Forms
Writing about Fiction: The World of the Story 139
Plot and Character 139
Writing about a Character 141
A Sample Essay on a Character: "Holden's Kid Sister" 144
A Brief Overview of the Essay 146
Foreshadowing 146
Organizing an Essay on Foreshadowing 148
Setting and Atmosphere 149
Symbolism 150
A Sample Essay on Setting as Symbol: "Spring Comes to Mrs. Mallard" 152
"Spring Comes to Mrs. Mallard" 153
Point of View 157
Third-Person Narrators 157
First-Person Narrators 159
Notes and a Sample Essay on Narrative Point of View in James Joyce's "Araby" 161
"The Three First-Person Narrators of Joyce's 'Araby'" 162
A Brief Overview of the Essay 165
Theme: Vision or Argument? 166
Determining and Discussing the Theme 166
Preliminary Notes and a Sample Essay on the Theme of Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" 167
Preliminary Notes 167
"Rising into Love" 170
A Brief Overview of the Essay 174
Basing the Paper on Your Own Responses 175
A Note on Secondary Sources 175
Suggestions for Further Reading 178
A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Fiction 179
A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about a Film Based on a Work of Literature 182
Writing about Drama 185
A Sample Essay 186
Preliminary Notes 186
"The Solid Structure of The Glass Menagerie" 187
Types of Plays 192
Tragedy 193
A Checklist: Writing about Tragedy 196
Comedy 196
A Checklist: Writing about Comedy 198
Aspects of Drama 198
Theme 198
Plot 200
A Checklist: Writing about Plot 203
Characterization and Motivation 205
Conventions 206
Costumes, Gestures, and Settings 207
Suggestions for Further Reading 210
A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Drama 211
A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about a Film Based on a Play 213
Writing about Poetry 214
The Speaker and the Poet 214
"Wild Nights-Wild Nights" 215
The Language of Poetry: Diction and Tone 216
"I, being born a woman and distressed" 217
Writing about the Speaker: Robert Frost's "The Telephone" 219
"The Telephone" 219
Journal Entries 221
Figurative Language 224
"On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" 225
Preparing to Write about Figurative Language 228
"The Sick Rose" 229
Structure 230
"Upon Julia's Clothes" 230
Annotating and Thinking about a Poem 231
The Student's Finished Essay: "Herrick's Julia, Julia's Herrick" 232
Some Kinds of Structure 234
"A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal" 235
"The Flea" 236
Verbal Irony 237
Paradox 237
Explication 238
A Sample Explication of Yeats's "The Balloon of the Mind" 239
"The Balloon of the Mind" 239
Rhythm and Versification: A Glossary for Reference 242
Rhythm 242
Meter 244
Patterns of Sound 247
Stanzaic Patterns 248
Blank Verse and Free Verse 249
"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" 250
Preparing to Write about Prosody 251
Sample Essay on Metrics: "Sound and Sense in A. E. Housman's 'Eight O'clock'" 252
"Sound and Sense in A. E. Housman's 'Eight O'clock'" 253
A Brief Overview of the Essay 257
Suggestions for Further Reading 257
A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Poetry 258
Writing about an Author in Depth 261
A Case Study: Writing about Langston Hughes 262
"The South" 263
"Ruby Brown" 265
"Ballad of the Landlord" 266
"A National Problem: Race and Racism in the Poetry of Langston Hughes" 267
A Brief Overview of the Essay 271
Inside: Style, Format, and Special Assignments
Style and Format 275
Principles of Style 275
Get the Right Word 276
Write Effective Sentences 280
A Checklist for Revising for Conciseness 281
Write Unified and Coherent Paragraphs 284
A Checklist: Revising Paragraphs 289
Write Emphatically 290
Notes on the Dash and the Hyphen 291
Remarks about Manuscript Form 291
Basic Manuscript Form 291
Quotations and Quotation Marks 293
Writing a Research Paper 298
What Research Is Not, and What Research Is 298
Primary and Secondary Materials 299
Locating Material: First Steps 299
Other Bibliographic Aids 302
Taking Notes 302
Two Mechanical Aids: The Photocopier and the Word Processor 303
A Guide to Note Taking 303
Drafting Your Paper 305
Focus on Primary Sources 306
Documentation 307
What to Document: Avoiding Plagiarism 307
A Checklist for Avoiding Plagiarism 309
How to Document: Footnotes, Internal Parenthetical Citations, and a List of Works Cited (MLA Format) 310
Sample Essay with Documentation: "The Women in Death of a Salesman" 322
A Checklist: Reading the Draft of a Research Paper 331
Electronic Sources 332
Encyclopedias: Print and Electronic Versions 332
The Internet/World Wide Web 332
Evaluating Sources on the World Wide Web 333
A Checklist: A Review for Using the World Wide Web 333
Documentation: Citing a Web Source 334
A Checklist: Citing World Wide Web Sources 334
Two Stories 338
"Araby" 338
"A Worn Path" 342
Literary Research: Print and Electronic Resources 349
Glossary of Literary Terms 356
Credits 371
Index of Authors, Titles, and First Lines of Poems 373
Index of Terms 375

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