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Short Guide to Writing about Literature, A, 12th Edition

By Sylvan Barnet, William E. Cain

Published by Longman

Published Date: Jun 28, 2011

Description

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

PREFACE
LETTER TO STUDENTS 
 

PART 1

Jumping In


1—WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE: A CRASH COURSE

The Pleasures of Reading—and of Writing about Literature

The Open Secret of Good Writing

The Writing Process

A Checklist of the Basics 

 

2—THE WRITER AS READER: READING AND RESPONDING 

    Kate Chopin, “Ripe Figs” 

    The Act of Reading 

    Reading with a Pen in Hand 

    Recording Your First Responses 

    Audience and Purpose 

    A Writing Assignment on “Ripe Figs” 

    The Assignment 

    A Sample Essay: “Images of Ripening in Kate Chopin’s ‘Ripe Figs’ ” 

    The Student’s Analysis Analyzed 

    Critical Thinking and the Study of Literature 

 

3—THE READER AS WRITER: DRAFTING AND WRITING 

    Pre-writing: Getting Ideas 

    Annotating a Text 

    More about Getting Ideas: A Second Story by Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” 

    Kate Chopin: “The Story of an Hour” 

    Brainstorming for Ideas for Writing 

    Focused Free Writing 

    Listing 

    Asking Questions 

    Keeping a Journal 

    Critical Thinking: Arguing with Yourself 

    Arriving at a Thesis and Arguing It 

    Writing a Draft 

    A Sample Draft: “Ironies in an Hour” 

    Revising a Draft 

              A Checklist for Revising for Clarity

    Two Ways of Outlining a Draft 

              A Checklist for Reviewing a Revised Draft 

    Peer Review 

    The Final Version 

    Sample Essay: “Ironies of Life in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’ ”  
    The Analysis Analyzed 

    Quick Review: From First Response to Final Version: Writing an Essay about a Literary Work 

 

4—TWO FORMS OF CRITICISM: EXPLICATION AND ANALYSIS 

    Explication 

    A Sample Explication: Langston Hughes’s “Harlem” 

    Working toward an Explication of “Harlem”  
    Some Journal Entries  
    The Final Draft: “Langston Hughes’s ‘Harlem’ ”  
    The Analysis Analyzed  
                A Checklist: Drafting an Explication 

    Analysis: The Judgment of Solomon 

    Thinking about Form 

    Thinking about Character 

    Thoughts about Other Possibilities    

For Further reading and Analysis: The Parable of the Prodigal Son  NEW

Comparison: An Analytic Tool 

          A Checklist: Revising a Comparison  

For Further Reading and Comparison: Gwendolyn Brooks’s “We Real Cool” NEW

     Finding a Topic 

    Considering the Evidence 

    Organizing the Material 

    Communicating Judgments 

    Review: How to Write an Effective Essay   

      1. Pre-writing 

        2. Drafting 

        3. Revising 

        4. Editing  
          An Editing Checklist: Questions to Ask Yourself When Editing 

       For Further Reading, Explication, and Comparison: William Blake’s “The Tyger” NEW

 

5–OTHER KINDS OF WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE 

    A Summary 

    A Paraphrase 

    A Review 

    A Review of a Dramatic Production  
    A Sample Review: “An Effective Macbeth” 

 

 

PART 2

Standing Back: Thinking Critically about Literature

 

6–LITERATURE, FORM, AND MEANING 

    Literature and Form

    Literature and Meaning 

    Arguing about Meaning 

    Form and Meaning 

    Robert Frost, “The Span of Life” 

    Literature, Texts, Discourses, and Cultural Studies

Suggestions for Further Reading


7–WHAT IS INTERPRETATION? 

    Interpretation and Meaning  
    Is the Author’s Intention a Guide to Meaning?  
    Features of a Good Interpretation 
    An Example: Interpreting Pat Mora’s “Immigrants”  
    Thinking Critically about Literature  
    A Student Interpretation of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” 

    Sample Essay: “Stopping by Woods and Going On” 

For Further Interpretation, Comparison, and Writing: Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” NEW

 Suggestions for Further Reading  

     A Checklist: Writing an Interpretation NEW

 

8–WHAT IS EVALUATION?  
    Criticism and Evaluation  
    Are There Critical Standards? 

    Morality and Truth as Standards  
    Other Ways to Think about Truth and Realism 

    Suggestions for Further Reading        

 

9–WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE: AN OVERVIEW  

    The Nature of Critical Writing  
    Some Critical Approaches 

    Formalist Criticism (New Criticism)  
    Deconstruction  
    Reader-Response Criticism  
    Archetypal (or Myth) Criticism  
    Historical Criticism 

    Marxist Criticism  
    The New Historicism  
    Biographical Criticism 

    Psychological (or Psychoanalytic) Criticism  
    Gender (Feminist, and Lesbian and Gay) Criticism 

    Suggestions for Further Reading  

 

PART 3

Up Close: Thinking Critically about Literary Forms

 

10—WRITING ABOUT FICTION: THE WORLD OF THE STORY  
    Plot and Character 

    Writing about a Character  
    A Sample Essay on a Character: “Holden’s Kid Sister”  
    The Analysis Analyzed 

    Foreshadowing 

    Organizing an Essay on Foreshadowing 

    Setting and Atmosphere 

    Symbolism 

    A Sample Essay on Setting as Symbol: “Spring Comes to Mrs. Mallard”  
    “Spring Comes to Mrs. Mallard” 

    Point of View 

    Third-Person Narrators 

    First-Person Narrators 

    Notes and a Sample Essay on Narrative Point of View in James Joyce’s “Araby” 

    “The Three First-Person Narrators of Joyce’s ‘Araby’ ”  
    The Analysis Analyzed 

    Theme: Vision or Argument? 

    Determining and Discussing the Theme 

    Preliminary Notes and a Sample Essay on the Theme of Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” 

    Preliminary Notes  
    “Rising into Love” (essay on “A Worn Path”)  
    A Brief Overview of the Essay  
       A Checklist: Writing about Theme NEW

Basing the Paper on Your Own Responses  
    A Note on Secondary Sources 

     A Second Essay about Theme: Notes and the Final Version of an Essay on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” 

    “ We All Participate in ‘The Lottery’ ”  
    The Analysis Analyzed  
    Suggestions for Further Reading 

          A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Fiction 

           A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about a Film Based on a Work of Literature 

 

11–GRAPHIC FICTION   NEW 

       Letters and Pictures

       Grant Wood’s “Death on the Ridge Road” (painting)

       Topic for Writing

       Reading an Image: A Short Story Told in One Panel

       Tony Carillo’s “F Minus”

 

 12–WRITING ABOUT DRAMA 

    A Sample Essay 

    Preliminary Notes  
    “The Solid Structure of The Glass Menagerie” 

    Types of Plays 

    Tragedy 

           A Checklist: Writing about Tragedy 

    Comedy Writing about Comedy
          A Checklist: Writing about Comedy 

    Aspects of Drama 

    Theme 

    Plot 

          A Checklist: Writing about Plot 

    Characterization and Motivation 

    Conventions 

    Costumes, Gestures, and Settings 

    A Sample Essay on Setting in Drama 

    “ What the Kitchen in Trifles Tells Us” 

    The Analysis Analyzed 

    Suggestions for Further Reading

          A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Drama 

          A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about a Film Based on a Play 

    A Student’s Essay on a Filmed Version of a Play 

    “Branagh’s Film of Hamlet”  
          A Checklist: Topics for Critical Thinking and Writing 

 

13—WRITING ABOUT POETRY 

    The Speaker and the Poet 

    Emily Dickinson, “Wild Nights—Wild Nights”  
    The Language of Poetry: Diction and Tone  
    Edna St. Vincent Millay, “I, being born a woman and distressed”  
    Writing about the Speaker: Robert Frost’s “The Telephone”  
    Robert Frost, “The Telephone”  
    Journal Entries 

    Figurative Language 

    John Keats, “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”  
    Preparing to Write about Figurative Language 

    Imagery and Symbolism

William Blake, “The Sick Rose” 

    Structure 

    Robert Herrick, “Upon Julia’s Clothes”

    Annotating and Thinking about a Poem  
    The Student’s Finished Essay: “Herrick’s Julia, Julia’s Herrick”  
    Some Kinds of Structure  
    Repetitive Structure

William Wordsworth, “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal”  
    Logical Structure

John Donne, “The Flea”  
    Verbal Irony  
    Paradox 

    Explication 

    A Sample Explication of Yeats’s “The Balloon of the Mind”  
    William Butler Yeats, “The Balloon of the Mind” 

    Rhythm and Versification: A Glossary for Reference 

    Rhythm 

    Meter 

    Patterns of Sound 

    Stanzaic Patterns 

    Blank Verse and Free Verse  
    Walt Whitman, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” 

    Preparing to Write about Prosody  
    Sample Essay on Metrics: “Sound and Sense in A. E. Housman’s ‘Eight O’Clock’” 

    “Sound and Sense in A. E. Housman’s ‘Eight O’Clock’ ”  
    The Analysis Analyzed 

    Suggestions for Further Reading 

          A Checklist: Getting Ideas for Writing about Poetry 

 

14–POEMS AND PICTURES   NEW    

A Poem and a Sample Student Essay

       Vincent van Gogn, “The Starry Night” (painting)

        Anne Sexton, “The Starry Night”

       Sample Essay: “Two Ways of Looking at a Starry Night”

       The Language of Pictures

       Writing about Pictures

       Comparing and Contrasting

       William Notman, “Foes in ’76, Friends in ‘85” (photograph)

       Analyzing and Evaluating Evidence

       Thinking Critically: Arguing with Oneself,

               Asking Questions, and Comparing–E.E. Cummings’s “Buffalo Bill’s”

              A Writing Assignment: Connecting a Picture with a Work of Literature

       Sample essay: “Two Views of Buffalo Bill”

 

15–WRITING ABOUT AN AUTHOR IN DEPTH 

    A Case Study: Writing about Langston Hughes 

    Langston Hughes, “The South”  
    Langston Hughes, “Ruby Brown” 

    Langston Hughes, “Ballad of the Landlord”  
    Sample essay: “A National Problem: Race and Racism in the Poetry of Langston Hughes”  
    A Brief Overview of the Essay 

 

 

PART 4

Inside: Style, Format, and Special Assignments

 

16–STYLE AND FORMAT 

    Principles of Style 

    Get the Right Word 

    Write Effective Sentences 

          A Checklist for Revising for Conciseness 

    Write Unified and Coherent Paragraphs 

          A Checklist: Revising Paragraphs 

    Write Emphatically 

    Notes on the Dash and the Hyphen 

    Remarks about Manuscript Form 

    Basic Manuscript Form 

    Quotations and Quotation Marks


17–WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 

    What Research Is Not, and What Research Is 

     Primary and Secondary Materials 

    Locating Material: First Steps 

    Other Bibliographic Aids 

    The Basics 

    Moving Ahead: Finding Sources for Research Work 

    What Does Your Own Institution Offer? 

    Taking Notes     

Incorporating Your Reading into Your Thinking: The Art and Science of Synthesis NEW

 Drafting Your Paper 

    Focus on Primary Sources 

    Documentation 

    What to Document: Avoiding Plagiarism  
          A Checklist for Avoiding Plagiarism  
    How to Document: Footnotes, Internal Parenthetical Citations, and a List of Works Cited (MLA Format) 

    Sample Essay with Documentation: “The Women in Death of a Salesman” 

          A Checklist: Reading the Draft of a Research Paper 

    Electronic Sources 

    Encyclopedias: Print and Electronic Versions  
    The Internet/World Wide Web 

    Evaluating Sources on the World Wide Web 

          A Checklist: A Review for Using the World Wide Web 

    Documentation: Citing a Web Source 

A Checklist: Citing World Wide Web Sources 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A: TWO STORIES  
    James Joyce, “Araby”  
    Eudora Welty, “A Worn Path” 

 

APPENDIX B: GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS 

 

APPENDIX C: HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CITING SOURCES? A QUIZ WITH ANSWERS

 

CREDITS 

 

INDEX OF AUTHORS, TITLES, AND FIRST LINES OF POEMS 

 

INDEX OF TERMS  

Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-205-11845-3

ISBN-13: 978-0-205-11845-8

Format: Alternate Binding

$56.33

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