Higher Education

Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism, 4th Edition

  • Ann B. Dobie University of Southwestern Louisiana-Lafayette
  • ISBN-10: 1285052447  |  ISBN-13: 9781285052441
  • 432 Pages
  • © 2015 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $111.75
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Beginning with approaches familiar to students and then gradually introducing schools of criticism that are more challenging, THEORY INTO PRACTICE provides extensive step-by-step guidance for writing literary analyses from each of the critical perspectives. This brief, practical introduction to literary theory explores core literary theories in a unique chronological format and includes an anthology of relevant fiction, poetry, and nonfiction to help bring those theories to life for students. Remarkably readable and engaging, the text makes even complex concepts manageable for those beginning to think about literary theory, and example analyses for each type of criticism show how real students have applied the theories to works included in the anthology. Now updated with the latest scholarship, including a full discussion of Eco-criticism and increased emphasis on American multicultural approaches, THEORY INTO PRACTICE provides an essential foundation for thoughtful and effective literary analysis.

Features and Benefits

  • From the beginning, this book has been a “teaching text.” That is, it has included numerous pedagogical aids. The fourth edition expands those features in an effort to facilitate student use. The following assistance is provided for each school of criticism: Concise historical literary background. Guidelines for reading as a critic. Guidelines for writing each stage of a critical analysis. A list of helpful suggested readings. Access to a comprehensive list of websites. A useful glossary of terms. At least one model student essay. Lists of questions to assist student thinking. In addition, several more comprehensive pedagogical aids follow the explanatory chapters. They include literary selections for quick and easy reference; a comprehensive, fully articulated glossary of critical terms; and Information at a Glance, a succinct summary of the purposes, assumptions, strategies, strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

Table of Contents

To the Student: An Introduction to Theory into Practice.
1. The Relationship of Reading and Writing.
2. Familiar Approaches.
3. Formalism.
4. Psychological Criticism.
5. Marxist Criticism.
6. Feminist Criticism.
7. Reader-Response Criticism.
8. Deconstruction.
9. Cultural Studies: New Historicism.
10. More Cultural Studies: Post-colonialism and Multiculturalism.
11. Eco-criticism: Literature Goes Green.
Literary Selections.
Appendix: A Short History of Literary Criticism.
Glossary of Terms Used in Literary Criticism.

What's New

  • The chapter on eco-criticism, a critical perspective that is still developing, has been updated. Called “Literature Goes Green,” it includes historical background to the movement, explains its purpose and principles, offers suggestions for how to read and write as an eco-critic, provides a glossary of common terms, and supplies a model student eco-critical essay of a literary work.
  • A new appendix on the history of literary criticism has been added, which surveys the major ideas in the field beginning with Plato and continuing to the point at which this text begins its discussions. The appendix provides an understanding of what people have valued about literature through the ages and how today’s literary theories have evolved.
  • A list of key terms has been added to the end of each chapter as an easy study reference for students.
  • The glossary has been expanded. New terms have been added and some of the definitions have been more fully developed.
  • Also there are three new student model essays, including new analyses for the psychological, formalist, and eco-critical approaches.

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: Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism, 4th + Questia 6 Month Subscription Printed Access Card

ISBN-10: 1285994213  | ISBN-13: 9781285994215

List Price = $161.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $121.75

This Bundle Includes:

  • Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism
    List Price = $148.95  | CengageBrain Price = $148.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $111.75
  • Questia, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card
    List Price = $47.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $35.75

Bundle: Text + CourseReader 0-30: Introduction to Literature Printed Access Card

ISBN-10:  1285994191 | ISBN-13:  9781285994192

List Price = $161.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $121.75

This Bundle Includes:

  • Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism
    List Price = $148.95  | CengageBrain Price = $148.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $111.75
  • CourseReader 0-30: Introduction to Literature Printed Access Card
    List Price = $67.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $50.25


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

MindTap® Literature 2.0, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1337091707 | ISBN-13: 9781337091701)

MindTap® Literature 2.0 is the digital learning solution that helps instructors engage and transform today's students into critical thinkers. Through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics, and an accessible reader, MindTap helps you turn cookie-cutter into cutting-edge, apathy into engagement, and memorizers into higher-level thinkers. As an instructor using MindTap, you have at your fingertips the right content and unique set of tools curated specifically for your course, all in an interface designed to improve workflow and save time when planning lessons and course structure. The control to build and personalize your course is all yours, focusing on the most relevant material while also lowering costs for your students. Stay connected and informed in your course through real-time student tracking that provides the opportunity to adjust the course as needed based on analytics of interactivity in the course. Paired with the Questia online library, a rich collection of sources selected by librarians, MindTap Literature gives students direct links to hundreds of short stories, poems, plays, novels, and essays, as well as access to robust search tools in Questia that students can use as they do research. Comprehensive multimedia instruction in writing five major types of papers assigned in the course and supporting modules on literary terms and literary criticism provide extensive guidance for students as they learn to read and write about literature. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage. MindTap Literature 2.0 offers newly added iconic pieces of American Literature with discussion questions and quizzes. Additionally, there is insightful information about various literary movements and associated authors within each movement.

List Price = $60.00  | CengageBrain Price = $60.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $60.00

Student Supplements

MindTap® Literature 2.0, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1337091707 | ISBN-13: 9781337091701)

It’s 1 AM, there are 20 tabs open on your computer, you lost your flashcards for the test, and you’re so tired you can’t even read. It’d be nice if someone came up with a more efficient way of studying. Luckily, someone did. With a single login for MindTap® Literature 2.0, 2nd Edition you can connect with your instructor, organize coursework, and have access to a range of study tools, including e-book and apps all in one place! Manage your time and workload without the hassle of heavy books! The MindTap Reader keeps all your notes together, lets you print the material, and will even read text out loud. Need extra practice? Find pre-populated flashcards and the entire eBook in the MindTap Mobile App, as well as quizzes and important course alerts. Want to know where you stand? Use the Progress app to track your performance in relation to other students.

List Price = $60.00  | CengageBrain Price = $60.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $60.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Ann B. Dobie

Ann B. Dobie is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she directed graduate studies in rhetoric and the university's writing-across-the-curriculum program. She is the author or coauthor of six college writing textbooks, compiler and editor of three literary anthologies, and author of numerous articles on literature and composition. Her latest books are WIDE AWAKE IN THE PELICAN STATE: CONTEMPORARY LOUISIANA STORIES (available in 2007) and FIFTY-EIGHT DAYS IN THE CAJUNDOME SHELTER, which will be available in early 2008. For 13 years, she served as director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana. She is now State Coordinator of the Louisiana Writing Project and a consultant to the National Writing Project.