Higher Education

Introduction to Critical Reading, 7th Edition

  • Leah McCraney University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • ISBN-10: 0495801798  |  ISBN-13: 9780495801795
  • 360 Pages
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $115.75
  *Why an online review copy?
  • It's the greener, leaner way to review! An online copy cuts down on paper and on time. Reduce the wait (and the weight) of printed texts. Your online copy arrives instantly, and you can review it anytime from your computer or favorite mobile device.

If you prefer a print copy to review, please contact your representative.



This unique college reading text gives students experience reading and evaluating poetry, short stories, essays, and textbook chapters. An innovative Instructor’s Manual gives instructors a wealth of teaching ideas and background material on each piece with a focus on critical thinking.

Features and Benefits

  • Featured poets include Julia Alvarez, Billy Collins, and Sekou Sundiata.
  • Seventy-eight selections, chosen to help develop critical reading skills, provide students with a diverse range of both classic and contemporary authors, including E. A. Robinson, Eudora Welty, Shirley Jackson, Cathy Song, Ann Coulter, and Andrew Hudgins.
  • Two textbook chapters from The American Past: A Survey of American History and SOC present students with the types of readings they will encounter in their college courses.
  • The selections for each genre present a range of difficulty, permitting the instructor to choose selections appropriate to the abilities of his or her specific class.
  • The pedagogy for each section’s exercises is found in the instructor’s manual, not in the student text. The instructor’s manual also contains an essay on teaching students to read textbook chapters, a detailed discussion on critical thinking, and transparency masters with examples of outlining.
  • The text contains footnote definitions of difficult words that are not defined in context. Explanatory notes on allusions to literature, history, and art are also included. The glossary includes definitions and examples of common literary and rhetorical devices.

Table of Contents

Kristine Batey, Lot’s Wife. Genesis 19: 12-26. E.A. Robinson, Richard Corey. Langston Hughes, I, Too. Langston Hughes, Harlem. Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken. e.e. cummings, nobody loses all the time. Alden Nowlan, Warren Pryor. Seamus Heaney, Digging. Langston Hughes, Mother to Son. Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays. Gary Soto, A Red Palm. Rita Dove, Daystar. William Stafford, Traveling Through the Dark. Craig Raine, A Martian Sends a Postcard Home. George Macbeth, Bedtime Story. Marge Piercy, Barbie Doll. M. Carl Holman, Mr. Z. W.H. Auden, The Unknown Citizen. Alastair Reid, Curiosity. Billy Collins, The History Teacher. William Blake, The Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Innocence. William Blake, The Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Experience.
Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est. Julia Alvarez, How I Learned to Sweep. Yusef Komunyakaa, Facing It. Donald Justice, Counting the Mad. Emily Dickinson, Much Madness Is Divinist Sense. Andrew Hudgins, Elegy for My Father, Who Is Not Dead. Howard Nemerov, The Vacuum. Alden Nowlan, Weakness. Adrienne Rich, Power. Robert Frost, Mending Wall. Cathy Song, Lost Sister. Li-Young Lee, Persimmons. Ai, Riot Act, April 29, 1992. Sekou Sundiata, Blink Your Eyes. Rita Dove, Parsley. Bob Hicok, What Would Freud Say?
Katharine Brush, Birthday Party. Shirley Jackson, The Lottery. Tobias Wolff, Powder. Eudora Welty, A Worn Path. Alice Walker, Everyday Use. Jess Mowry, Crusader Rabbit. Judy Budnitz, Miracle. Ray Bradbury, The Veldt. Tillie Olsen, I Stand Here Ironing. Zora Neale Hurston, The Gilded Six-Bits. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Harrison Bergerson. Andre Dubus, The Fat Girl. Gish Jen, What Means Switch. Sherman Alexie, What You Pawn I Will Redeem. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Cell One. William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily. Joyce Carol Oates, Life After High School. Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants. John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums.
Dick Gregory, Shame. George Orwell, A Hanging. Nicholas Bramble, Fifth Period Is Facebook. Doug Fodeman and Marje Monrow, The Impact of Facebook on our Students. Larry Magid, Teen ‘Sexting’: Stupid and Illegal. Michael Dillingham, Steroids, Sports and the Ethics of Winning. Kate Schmidt, Just Say Yes to Steroids – Learn, Make Better Choices.
Kurt Weisenfeld, Making the Grade. Alton Fitzgerald White, Right Place Wrong Place. Amy Tan, Mother Tongue. Ann Coulter, Disgusting Doesn’t Make It “Speech.” Leonard Pitts, Should a Man Be Put in Jail for What He’s Thinking? Cindi Ross Scope, Every Choice Has Its Consequences. Cynthia Fox, Starved Out. Deborah Gregory, Heavy Judgment: A Sister Talks about the Pain of “Living Large.” Nancy Gibbs, When Is It Rape? Judith Ortiz Cofer, The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria. William J. Chambliss, The Saints and the Roughnecks.
Joseph R. Conlin, Presidency in Crisis, from The American Past: A Survey of American History. Nijole V. Benokraitis, Culture, from SOC.

What's New

  • The 7th Edition features three new short stories from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tobias Wolff, and Judy Budnitz.
  • Included in this edition are new essays from authors Kate Schmidt, William Chambliss, and Cindy Ross Scope.

Alternate Formats

Choose the format that best fits your student's budget and course goals

To customize your learning solution, contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

  • Aplia 1 Term (6 Months) + Bound Book

    ISBN-10: 1337498041 | ISBN-13: 9781337498043

    List Price = $166.95  | CengageBrain Price = $166.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $125.75

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: Text + Aplia™ for Developmental Reading, High-Level, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card

ISBN-10: 1285727339 | ISBN-13: 9781285727332

List Price = $166.95  | CengageBrain Price = $166.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $125.75

This Bundle Includes:

  • Introduction to Critical Reading
    List Price = $153.95  | CengageBrain Price = $153.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $115.75
  • Aplia™, 1 term for Developmental Reading, High-Level, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card
    List Price = $45.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $33.75


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 0495905364 | ISBN-13: 9780495905363)

This resource contains all of the pedagogy for the text--a wealth of materials for use in class discussions, writing instruction, and professional development. The Instructor’s Manual also contains an essay on teaching students to read textbook chapters, a detailed discussion on critical thinking, and transparency masters with examples of outlining.