PART I: INTERPRETING LITERATURE.
1. Strategies for Interpreting Literature.
Why Do People Read Literature? What Is Meaning? What Is Interpretation? How Do We Interpret? Checklist for Interpreting Literature. Work Cited.
2. What is Literature?
Literature Is Language. Literature Is Fictional. Walt Whitman, Cavalry Crossing a Ford. Literature Is True. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, My Friend, the Things that Do Attain. Literature Is Aesthetic. Literature Is Intertextual. Christopher Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. Sir Walter Raleigh, The Nymph''s Reply to the Shepherd. Checklist for the Elements of Literature. Works Cited.
3. Interpreting Fiction.
The Elements of Fiction. Theme. Point of View. Plot. Characterization. Setting. Irony. Symbolism. Other Elements. Checklist for Interpreting Fiction. Works Cited.
4. Interpreting Drama.
The Nature of Drama. The Elements of Drama. Length. Audience. Plot. Characterization. Setting. Theme. Irony. Subgenres. Checklist for Interpreting Drama. Works Cited and Consulted.
5. Interpreting Poetry.
What Is Poetry? Emily Brontë, The Night Is Darkening Round Me. I. Sense in Poetry: Elements that Convey Meaning. Getting the Facts Straight (Reading a Poem the First Time). Diction. William Wordsworth, "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal." Syntax. Louise Bogan, "Song for a Lyre." Characterization, Point of View, Plot, and Setting. Jane Kenyon, "In the Nursing Home." Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach." Robert Browning, "My Last Duchess." Imagery: Descriptive Language. Imagery: Figurative Language. Samuel Daniel, "Love Is a Sickness." Thomas Campion, "There Is a Garden in Her Face." Symbolism. William Blake, "The Sick Rose." II. The Sound of Poetry: Musical Elements. Rhythm. William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 129." Word Sounds. Edgar Allan Poe, "To Helen." III. Structure: Devices that Organize. Lines. Enjambment. Blank Verse. Stanza. Rhyme Scheme. Fixed and Nonce Forms. The Sonnet. William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 116." Edna St. Vincent Millay, "I, Being Born a Woman." The Ballad. Anonymous, "The Daemon Lover." Common Meter. Emily Dickinson, "Because I Could Not Stop for Death." The Haiku. Matsuo Basho, haiku. Taniguchi Buson, haiku. Kobayashi Issa, haiku. Free Verse. Psalm 23. Ezra Pound, "Xenia." Amy Lowell, "Road to the Yoshiwara." Langston Hughes, "Vagabonds." The Villanelle. Elizabeth Bishop, "One Art." IV. Sight: The Visual Qualities of Poetry. Visual Poetry. George Herbert, Easter Wings. Modern Poetry. e. e. cummings,
"l(a." Gwendolyn Brooks, "We Real Cool." Checklist for Interpreting Poetry. Works Cited.
6. Specialized Approaches to Interpreting Literature.
Literary Criticism. Cites of Meaning. Literary Theory. The Work. Anglo-American Criticism. Structuralism. Archetypal Criticism. Poststructuralism. Resources. Applications. The Author. Historical and Biographical Criticism. New Historicist. Criticism. Resources. Applications. The Reader. European Reader-Response Criticism
American Reader-Response Criticism. Resources. Applications. All of Reality. Psychological Criticism. Resources. Marxist Criticism. Resources. Feminist and Gender Criticism. Resources. Applications. Works. Cited.
PART II: WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE.
7. Writing about Literature.
Why Write about Literature? How Can You Write about Literature? The Writing Process First Stage: Inventing. Second Stage: Drafting. Third Stage: Revising. Fourth Stage: Editing and Publishing.
8. CHOOSING TOPICS.
Preliminary Steps. Be an Active Reader. Identify Your Audience. Raise Questions about the Work. Narrow Your Topic . Search Strategies. Focus on the Work''s Conventions (Its Formal Qualities). Use Topoi (Traditional Patterns of Thinking). Respond to Comments by Critics. Draw from Your Own Knowledge. Talking and Writing Strategies. Talk Out Loud. Make Outlines. Freewrite. Brainstorm. Create Graphic Organizers. Make Notes. Keep a Journal. Sample Essay about Literature. Michelle Henderson, "Paradise Rejected in Homer''s Odyssey." Comments on the Essay. Checklist for Choosing Topics Works Cited.
9. Drafting the Essay.
The Argumentative Nature of Interpretive Essays. The Structure of Essays about Literature. The Argumentative Structure. The Rhetorical Structure. Guidelines for Writing First Drafts. Keep in Mind the Needs of Your Audience. Avoid Extreme Subjectivity (Overuse of "I"). Draw Up a Rough Outline. Begin Writing. Use Sound Deductive Reasoning. Support Key Claims with Facts. Use Sound Inductive Reasoning. Define Key Terms. Organize Evidence According to a Coherent Plan. Make Comparisons Complete and Easy to Follow. Checklist for Drafting the Essay. Works Cited.
10. Revising and Editing.
Revise Throughout the Writing Process. Revise for the Final Draft. Write a Clear and Readable Prose Style. Have Other People Read and Respond to Your Draft. Edit the Final Draft. Rules of Usage. Citations of Sources. Quotations. Other Rules of Usage Related to Essays about Literature. Physical Format. Sample Essay in Two Drafts. Early Draft. Comments on the Early Draft. Final Draft. Jennifer Hargrove, "A Comparison of Mary and Warren in Robert Frost''s ''The Death of the Hired Man''". Comments on the Final Draft. Checklist for Revising and Editing. Works Cited.
11. Documentation and Research.
Primary Sources. Secondary Sources. Research Papers and the Use of Secondary Sources. How to Find Information and Opinions about Literature. I. Library Catalogs and Stacks. II. Library Reference Area. III. Library Periodicals Area. IV. Information and Opinion on the Web. Evaluating the Quality of Internet Sites. Giving Credit to Sources. Why Should You Give Credit? When Should You Give Credit? Where Should You Give Credit? Correct Documentary Form. Guidelines for Parenthetical Citations. Guidelines for Using Footnotes and Endnotes. Guidelines and Form for the Works Cited List: General Rules. Sample Entries for Non-periodical Print Materials. Sample Entry for Periodical Publications in Print. Sample Entries for Web Publications. Sample Entries for Other Nonprint Sources. Frequently Used Abbreviations. Sample Research Paper. Harold Wright, "The Monster''s Education in Mary Shelley''s Frankenstein." Comments on the Research Paper. Checklist for Documentation and Research.
12. Taking Essay Tests.
Guidelines for Taking Essay Tests. Sample Test Essays. Essay 1 (A Mediocre Essay). Comments on Essay 1. Essay 2 (A Good Essay). Comments on Essay 2. Essay 3 (A Very Good Essay). Comments on Essay 3. Checklist for Taking Essay Tests.
13. Sample Essays.
Essay on a Poem. George Cannon, "Point of View in Edwin Arlington Robinson''s ''Richard Cory''." Essay on a Short Story. Blake Long, "Montresor''s Fate in Edgar Allan Poe''s ''The Cask of Amontillado''." Essay on a Play. Carolyn Briner, "The Meaning of Physical Objects in Susan Glaspell''s Trifles." Essay on a Novel. Shalita Forrest, "First Love, Lost Love in George Eliot''s Adam Bede."
Edwin Arlington Robinson, "Richard Cory" (1897). Robert Frost, "The Death of the Hired Man" (1914). Short Stories. Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants" (1927).
Mary Robison, "Yours" (1983). Edgar Allan Poe, "The Cask of Amontillado" (1847).
Play. Susan Glaspell, Trifles (1916).
Index of Concepts and Terms.
Index of Critics, Authors, and Works.