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An Introduction to Literature




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A n Introduction to Literature






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Literature for Composition An Introduction to Literature

Sylvan Barnet Tufts University

William Burto University of Massachusetts at Lowell

William E. Cain Wellesley College

Cheryl L. Nixon University of Massachusetts at Boston

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Names: Barnet, Sylvan, editor. | Burto, William, editor. | Cain, William E., date-editor. | Pearson, Cheryl L. Nixon, editor. Title: Literature for composition : an introduction to literature / [edited by] Sylvan Barnet, William Burto, William E. Cain, Cheryl L. Nixon Pearson. Description: Eleventh edition. | Boston : Pearson, 2016. | Previous editions had other title information: essays, stories, poems, and plays. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2015048640| ISBN 9780134099149 (student edition) | ISBN 0134099141 (student edition) | ISBN 9780134101774 (exam copy) | ISBN 0134101774 (exam copy) Subjects: LCSH: College readers. | English language—Rhetoric—Problems, exercises, etc. | Criticism—Authorship—Problems, exercises, etc. | Academic writing—Problems, exercises, etc. Classification: LCC PE1417 .L633 2016 | DDC 808/.0427—dc23 LC record available at

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Contents by Genre xxiii Preface xxvii


Thinking Critically about Literature

C H A P T E R 1   How to Write an Effective Essay about Literature: A Crash Course 1

The Basic Strategy 1 Reading Closely: Approaching a First Draft 2

✔ Checklist: Generating Ideas for a Draft 5 Writing and Revising: Achieving a Readable Draft 6

✔ Checklist: Writing and Revising a Draft 9 Revising: Working with Peer Review 9 Preparing the Final Draft 10

C H A P T E R 2   How to Engage in Critical Thinking about Literature: A Crash Course 11

The Basic Strategy 11 What Is Critical Thinking? 12 How Do We Engage in Critical Thinking? 13 Close Reading 14

✔ Checklist: Close Reading 15 Analysis: Inquiry, Interpretation, Argument 15

Inquiry 16 ✔ Checklist: Inquiry and Question-Asking 17 Interpretation 18 ✔ Checklist: Interpretation 19 Argument 19 ✔ Checklist: Argument 20

Comparison and Synthesis 21 ✔ Checklist: Comparison and Synthesis 22

Revision and Self-Awareness 22 Standing Back: Kinds of Writing 23 Nonanalytical versus Analytical Writing 23

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