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Writing about Literatureintroduces strategies for reading literature, explains the writing process and common writing assignments for literature courses, provides instruction in writing about fiction, poetry, and drama, and includes coverage of writing a research paper and of literary criticism and theory.This volume in Bedford/St. Martin's popular series of Portable Anthologies and Guides offers the series' trademark combination of high quality and great value for teachers looking to assign supplementary instruction on reading and writing about literature to their students.
Janet E. Gardner, an associate professor of English at University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, has published numerous essays on contemporary drama, especially modern British drama and the work of Caryl Churchill. She has received several grants and awards for research into current teaching technologies, and is at work on a nationwide study of drama and theatre pedagogy. She is the editor of 12 Plays: A Portable Anthology and co-editor of Literature: A Portable Anthology (both with Bedford/St. Martin’s).
Table of Contents
Introduction: Writing about Literature
The Role of Good Reading
The Value of Rereading
The Myth of "Hidden Meaning"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Kubla Khan"
Using Reference Materials
Asking Critical Questions of Literature
Questions about the Text
Ben Jonson, "On My First Son"
Questions about the Author
Questions about the Cultural Context
Questions about the Reader
Tips for Good Reading
The Writing Process
Choosing a Topic
Developing an Argument
Gathering Support for Your Thesis
Organizing Your Paper
Drafting, Revising, and Editing
Tips for Drafting, Revising, and Editing
Final Editing and Proofreading
Final Editing Checklist
Peer Editing and Workshops
Tips for Writing about Literature
Using Quotations Effectively
Adding to or Altering a Quotation
Omitting Words from a Quotation
Quotations within Quotations
Quotation Marks with Other Punctuation
Quoting from Stories
Quoting from Poems
Quoting from Plays
Tips for Quoting
Common Writing Assignments
"Upon Julia's Clothes"
"Poetry in Motion: Herrick's 'Upon Julia's Clothes"
"My Last Duchess"
"Possessed by the Need for Possession: Browning's 'My Last Duchess'"
Comparison and Contrast
"Speakers for the Dead: Narrators in 'My Last Duchess' and 'After Death'"
Writing About Stories
Elements of Fiction
Point of View
Stories for Analysis
"The Story of an Hour"
"The Yellow Wallpaper"
Questions on the Stories
Sample Paper: An Essay That Compares and Contrasts
"Good Husbands in Bad Marriages"
Writing About Poems
Elements of Poetry
Sound and Sense
A Poem for Analysis
Questions on the Poem
Sample Paper: An Explication
"Shakespeare Defines Love"
Writing About Plays
Elements of Drama
A Play for Analysis
Questions about the Play
Sample Paper: An Analysis
"Moral Ambiguity and Character Development in Trifles"
Writing A Literary Research Paper
Working with Sources
Paraphrasing and Summarizing
Keeping Track of Your Sources
Writing the Paper
Refine Your Thesis
Organize Your Evidence
Start Your Draft
Edit and Proofread
Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism
What to Document and What Not to Document
Documenting Sources: MLA Format
Preparing Your Works Cited List
Sample Research Paper
"Emily Dickinson's 'Because I could not stop for Death': Challenging Readers' Expectations"
Literary Criticism and Literary Theory
Formalism and New Criticism
Feminist and Gender Criticism
Historical Criticism and New Historicism
Poststructuralism and Deconstruction
Index of Terms
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