Literature for Composition: Reading and Writing Arguments About Essays, Stories, Poems, and Plays, 11th edition

  • Sylvan Barnet, 
  • William Burto, 
  • William Cain, 
  • Cheryl Nixon

Choose the option that's right for you

$9.99 / mo

4-month term, pay monthly or pay $39.96

Enjoy these features

  • Up to 2 devices
  • Discounted tutor access
  • Exclusive offers

$14.99 / mo

4-month term, pay monthly or pay $59.96

Enjoy these features

  • Up to 2 devices
  • Discounted tutor access
  • Exclusive offers

Learn more, spend less

  • Listen on the go

    Learn how you like with full eTextbook audio

  • Learn anytime, anywhere

    Get the app to access your eTextbook whenever you need it

  • Make it your own

    Your notes. Your highlights. Your eTextbook

  • Find it fast

    Quickly navigate your eTextbook with search

  • Stay organized

    Access all your eTextbooks in one place

Overview

Literature for Composition offers engaging coverage of reading, writing and arguing about literature with an emphasis on critical thinking. The authors demonstrate how strong communication skills are relevant to literature courses as well as to all courses where you must analyze texts or write arguments.

Published by Pearson (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2017

ISBN-13: 9780137498635

Subject: Literature

Category: Introduction to Literature

Table of contents

BRIEF CONTENTS

NOTE: Brief and Comprehensive Tables of Contents follow.

I. THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT LITERATURE

  1. How to Write an Effective Essay about Literature: A Crash Course
  2. What is Critical Thinking about Literature? A Crash Course
  3. The Writer as Reader
  4. The Reader as Writer
  5. The Pleasures of Reading, Writing and Thinking about Literature

II. WRITING ARGUMENTS ABOUT LITERATURE

  1. Close Reading: Paraphrase, Summary, and Explication
  2. Analysis: Inquiry, Interpretation and Argument
  3. Pushing Analysis Further: Re-Interpreting and Revision
  4. Comparison and Synthesis
  5. Research: Writing with Sources

III. ANALYZING LITERARY FORMS AND ELEMENTS

  1. Reading and Writing about Essays
  2. Reading and Writing about Stories
  3. Reading and Writing about Graphic Fiction
  4. Reading and Writing about Plays
  5. Reading and Writing about Poems

IV. ENJOYING LITERARY THEMES: A THEMATIC ANTHOLOGY

  1. The World Around Us
  2. Technology and Human Identity
  3. Love and Hate, Men and Women
  4. Innocence and Experience
  5. All in a Day’s Work
  6. American Dreams and Nightmares
  7. Law and Disorder
  8. Journeys

Appendix A: Writing About Literature: An Overview of Critical Strategies

Appendix B: Remarks about Manuscript Form

Literary Credits

Photo Credits

Index of Authors, Titles, and First Lines

Index of Terms

COMPREHENSIVE CONTENTS

  • Contents by Genre
  • Preface to Instructors

I: THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT LITERATURE

  1. How to Write an Effective Essay about Literature: A Crash Course
    • The Basic Strategy
    • Reading Closely: Approaching a First Draft
    • Checklist: Generating Ideas for a Draft
    • Writing and Revising: Achieving a Readable Draft
    • Checklist: Writing and Revising a Draft
    • Revising: Working with Peer Review
    • Preparing the Final Draft
  2. What is Critical Thinking about Literature?: A Crash Course
    • The Basic Strategy
    • What Is Critical Thinking?
    • How Do We Engage in Critical Thinking?
    • Close Reading
    • Checklist: Close Reading
    • Analysis: Inquiry, Interpretation, Argument
    • Checklist: Inquiry and Question-Asking
    • Checklist: Interpretation
    • Checklist: Argument
    • Comparison and Synthesis
    • Checklist: Comparison and Synthesis
    • Revision and Self-Awareness
    • Standing Back: Kinds of Writing
    • Non-Analytic vs. Analytic Writing
  3. The Writer as Reader
    • Reading and Responding
    • KATE CHOPIN • Ripe Figs
    • Reading as Re-creation
    • Reading for Understanding: Collecting Evidence and Making Reasonable Inferences
    • Reading with Pen in Hand: Close Reading and Annotation
    • Sample Student Work: Annotation
    • Reading for Response: Recording First Reactions
    • Sample Student Work: Response Writing
    • Reading for Inquiry: Ask Questions and Brainstorm Ideas
    • Sample Student Work: Inquiry Notes
    • Reading in Context: Identifying Your Audience and Purpose
    • From Reading to Writing: Developing an Analytical Essay with an Argumentative Thesis
    • Sample Student Analytical Essay: “Images of Ripening in Kate Chopin’s ‘Ripe Figs’”
    • The Analytical Essay: Argument and Structure Analyzed
    • The Writing Process: From First Responses to Final Essay
    • Other Possibilities for Writing
    • From Reading to Writing: Moving from Brainstorming to an Analytical Essay
    • BRUCE HOLLAND ROGERS • Three Soldiers
    • The Writing Process: From Response Writing to Final Essay
    • Sample Student Work: Response Writing
    • Sample Student Analytical Essay: “Thinking about Three Soldiers Thinking”
    • The Analytical Essay: The Development of Ideas Analyzed
    • From Reading to Writing: Moving from a Preliminary Outline to an Analytical Essay
    • RAY BRADBURY • August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains
    • The Writing Process: From Outlining to Final Essay
    • Sample Student Work: Outlining
    • Sample Student Analytical Essay: “The Lesson of ‘August 2026’”
    • Your Turn: Additional Stories for Analysis
    • MICHELE SERROS • Senior Picture Day
    • HARUKI MURAKAMI • On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning
    • JOHN UPDIKE • A & P
  4. The Reader as Writer
    • Developing Ideas through Close Reading and Inquiry
    • Getting Ideas
    • Annotating a Text
    • KATE CHOPIN • The Story of an Hour
    • Brainstorming Ideas
    • Focused Freewriting
    • Sample Student Work: Freewriting
    • Listing
    • Sample Student Work: Listing
    • Asking Questions
    • Sample Student Work: Inquiry Notes
    • Keeping a Journal
    • Sample Student Work: Journal-writing
    • Developing a Thesis through Critical Thinking
    • Arguing with Yourself
    • Arguing a Thesis
    • Checklist: Thesis Sentence
    • From Reading to Writing to Revising: Drafting an Argument in an Analytical Essay
    • Sample Preliminary Draft of Student’s Analytical Essay: “Ironies in an Hour”
    • Revising an Argument
    • Outlining an Argument
    • Soliciting Peer Review, Thinking about Counterarguments
    • From Reading to Writing to Revising: Finalizing an Analytical Essay
    • Sample Final Draft of a Student’s Analytical Essay: “Ironies of Life in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’”
    • The Analytical Essay: The Final Draft Analyzed
    • From Reading to Writing to Revising: Finalizing an Analytical Essay
    • KATE CHOPIN • Désirée’s Baby
    • Sample Student Analytical Essay: “Race and Identity in ‘Désirée’s Baby’”
    • From Reading to Writing to Revising: Drafting a Comparison Essay
    • KATE CHOPIN • The Storm
    • Sample Student Work: Comparison Notes
    • Sample Student Comparison Essay: “Two New Women”
    • The Comparison Essay: Organization Analyzed
    • Your Turn: Additional Stories for Analysis
    • DAGOBERTO GILB • Love in L.A.
    • ELIZABETH TALLENT • No One’s a Mystery
    • JUNOT DIAZ • How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie
    • T. CORAGHESSAN BOYLE • Greasy Lake
    • MARY ANNE HOOD • How Far She Went
  5. The Pleasures of Reading, Writing and Thinking about Literature
    • The Pleasures of Literature
    • ALLEN WOODMAN • Wallet
    • The Pleasures of Analyzing the Texts that Surround Us
    • The Pleasures of Authoring Texts
    • The Pleasures of Interacting with Texts
    • Interacting with Fiction: Literature as Connection
    • JAMAICA KINCAID • Girl
    • Sample Student Personal Response Essay: “The Narrator in Jamaica Kincaid’s ‘Girl’: Questioning the Power of Voice”
    • Interacting with Graphic Fiction: Literature as (Making and Breaking) Rules
    • LYNDA BARRY • Before You Write
    • Interacting with Poetry: Literature as Language
    • JULIA BIRD • 14: a txt msg pom.
    • Interacting with Drama: Literature as Performance
    • OSCAR WILDE• excerpt from The Importance of Being Ernest
    • Interacting with Essays: Literature as Discovery
    • ANNA LISA RAYA • It’s Hard Enough Being Me
    • Your Turn: Additional Stories, Poems, Plays and Essays for Pleasurable Analysis
    • Poems
    • ALBERTO RIOS • Nani
    • JIMMY SANTIAGO BACA • Green Chili
    • HELEN CHASIN • The Word Plum
    • WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS • This Is Just to Say
    • GARY SOTO • Oranges
    • SARAH N. CLEGHORN • The Golf Links
    • STEVIE SMITH • Not Waving but Drowning
    • Stories
    • MARGARET ATWOOD • Happy Endings
    • AMBROSE BIERCE • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
    • Play
    • MICHAEL GOLAMCO • The Heartbreaker
    • Essay
    • GEORGE SAUNDERS Commencement Speech on Kindness

II: WRITING ARGUMENTS ABOUT LITERATURE

  1. Close Reading: Paraphrase, Summary, and Explication
    • What Is Literature?
    • Literature and Form
    • Form and Meaning
    • ROBERT FROST • The Span of Life
    • Close Reading: Reading in Slow Motion
    • Exploring a Poem and Its Meaning
    • LANGSTON HUGHES • Harlem
    • Paraphrase
    • Sample Student Work: Paraphrase
    • Summary
    • Sample Student Work: Summary
    • Explication
    • Working Toward an Explication
    • Sample Student Work: Annotation
    • Sample Student Work: Journal Entries
    • Sample Student Work: Listing
    • Sample Student Explication Essay: “Langston Hughes’s ‘Harlem’”
    • Explication as Argument
    • CATHY SONG • Stamp Collecting
    • Sample Student Argumentative Explication Essay: “Giving Stamps Personality in ‘Stamp Collecting’”
    • Checklist: Drafting an Explication
    • Your Turn: Additional Poems for Explication
    • WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE • Sonnet 73
    • JOHN DONNE • Holy Sonnet XIV
    • EMILY BRONTË • Spellbound
    • LI-YOUNG LEE • I Ask My Mother to Sing
    • RANDALL JARRELL • The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
  2. Analysis: Inquiry, Interpretation and Argument
    • Analysis
    • Understanding Analysis as a Process of Inquiry, Interpretation, Argument
    • Analyzing a Story from the Hebrew Bible: The Judgment of Solomon
    • The Judgment of Solomon
    • Developing an Analysis of the Story
    • Opening Up Additional Ways to Analyze the Story
    • Analyzing a Story from the New Testament: The Parable of the Prodigal Son
    • The Parable of the Prodigal Son
    • Asking Questions that Trigger an Analysis of the Story
    • From Inquiry to Interpretation to Argument: Developing an Analytical Paper
    • ERNEST HEMINGWAY • Cat in the Rain
    • Close Reading
    • Sample Student Work: Annotations
    • Inquiry Questions
    • Sample Student Work: Inquiry Notes
    • Interpretation Brainstorming
    • Sample Student Work: Journal Writing
    • The Argument-Centered Paper
    • Sample Student Argument Paper: “Hemingway’s American Wife”
    • From Inquiry to an Analytical Paper: A Second Example
    • Sample Student Work: Inquiry Notes
    • Sample Student Work: Journal Writing
    • JAMES JOYCE • Araby
    • Sample Student Analytical Essay: “‘Araby’s’ Everyday and Imagined Setting”
    • From Inquiry to Interpretation to Argument: Maintaining an Interpretation in an Analytical Paper
    • APHRA BEHN • Song: Love Armed
    • Maintaining Interpretive Interest
    • Sample Student Work: Inquiry Notes
    • Sample Student Work: Journal Writing
    • Sample Student Essay: “The Double Nature of Love”
    • Checklist: Editing a Draft
    • Your Turn: Additional Short Stories and Poems for Analysis
    • EDGAR ALLAN POE • The Cask of Amontillado
    • LESLIE MARMON SILKO • The Man to Send Rain Clouds
    • BILLY COLLINS • Introduction to Poetry
    • ROBERT FROST • The Road Not Taken
    • JOHN KEATS • Ode on a Grecian Urn
    • MARTIN ESPADA • Bully
    • Pushing Analysis Further: Re-Interpreting and Revision
    • Interpretation and Meaning
    • Is the Author’s Intention a Guide to Meaning?
    • What Characterizes a Sound Interpretation?
    • Interpreting Pat Mora’s “Immigrants”
    • PAT MORA • Immigrants
    • Checklist: Writing an Interpretation
    • Strategy #1: Pushing Analysis by Rethinking First Responses
    • JEFFREY WHITMORE • Bedtime Story
    • Sample Student Work: Response Writing Revisited
    • DOUGLAS L. HASKINS • Hide and Seek
    • Sample Student Work: Response Writing Revisited
    • MARK PLANTS • Equal Rites
    • Sample Student Work: Response Writing Revisited
    • Strategy #2: Pushing Analysis by Exploring Literary Form
    • LANGSTON HUGHES • Mother to Son
    • Sample Student Work: Annotation Exploring Form
    • Sample Student Work: Inquiry Notes Exploring Form
    • Sample Student Analytical Essay: “Accepting the Challenge of a Difficult Climb in Langston Hughes’ ‘Mother to Son’”
    • Strategy #3: Pushing Analysis by Emphasizing Concepts and Insights
    • ROBERT FROST • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    • Sample Student Analytical Essay: “Stopping by Woods–and Going On”
    • Analyzing the Analytical Essay’s Development of a Conceptual Interpretation
    • Sample Student Analytical Essay: “‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ as a Short Story”
    • Strategy #4: Pushing Analysis Through Revision
    • Revising for Ideas vs. Mechanics
    • Revising Using Instructor Feedback, Peer Feedback, and Self-Critique
    • Examining a Preliminary Draft with Revision in Mind
    • HA JIN • Saboteur
    • Sample Student Preliminary Draft of an Analytical Essay: “Individual and Social Morals in Ha
    • Jin’s ‘Saboteur’”
    • Developing a Revision Strategy: Thesis, Ideas, Evidence, Organization, Correctness
    • Sample Student Final Draft of an Analytical Essay: “Individual and Social Morals in Ha
    • Jin’s ‘Saboteur’”
    • Your Turn: Additional Poems and Stories for Interpretation
    • T. S. ELIOT • The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
    • JOHN KEATS • Ode on a Grecian Urn
    • THOMAS HARDY • The Man He Killed
    • ANNE BRADSTREET • Before the Birth of One of Her Children
    • CHRISTINA ROSSETTI • After Death
    • FRED CHAPELLE • Narcissus and Echo
    • JOYCE CAROL OATES • Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
    • RAYMOND CARVER • Cathedral
    • Comparison and Synthesis
    • Comparison and Critical Thinking
    • Organizing a Comparison Paper
    • Comparison and Close Reading
    • Comparison and Asking Questions
    • Comparison and Analyzing Evidence
    • Sample Student Work: Comparison Arguments
    • Comparison and Arguing with Yourself
    • E. E. CUMMINGS • Buffalo Bill ’s
    • Checklist: Developing a Comparison
    • Synthesis Through Close Reading: Analyzing a Revised Short Story
    • RAYMOND CARVER • Mine
    • RAYMOND CARVER • Little Things
    • Sample Student Writing: Innovative Listing
    • Synthesis Through Building a Concept Bridge: Connecting Two Poems
    • THYLIAS MOSS • Tornadoes
    • KWAME DAWES • Tornado Child
    • Sample Student Writing: Innovative Response Writing
    • Synthesis Using Theme
    • SANDRA CISNEROS • Barbie-Q
    • MARYANNE O’HARA •Diverging Paths and All That
    • JAYNE ANNE PHILLIPS • Sweethearts
    • Sample Student Writing: Innovative Mapping
    • Synthesis Using Form
    • WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE • Sonnet 18:Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?
    • HOWARD MOSS • Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day
    • Sample Student Comparison Essay: “A Comic Re-Writing of a Shakespeare Sonnet”
    • Checklist: Revising a Comparison
    • Your Turn: Additional Poems and Stories for Comparison and Synthesis
    • Poetry
    • “Carpe diem” poems
    • ROBERT HERRICK • To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
    • CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE • The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
    • SIR WALTER RALEIGH • The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd
    • ANDREW MARVELL • To His Coy Mistress
    • JOHN DONNE • The Bait
    • “blackberry” poems
    • GALWAY KINELL •Blackberry Eating
    • SYLVIA PLATH • Blackberrying
    • SEAMUS HEANEY •Blackeberry-Picking
    • YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA •Blackberries
    • “America” poems
    • WALT WHITMAN • I Hear America Singing
    • LANGSTON HUGHES • I, Too [Sing America]
    • Stories
    • Stories about reading and writing
    • JULIO CORTAZAR • Continuity of Parks
    • A.M. HOMES • Things You Should Know
    • Stories about grandmothers
    • LAN SAMANTHA CHANG • Water Names
    • KATHERINE ANNE PORTER • The Jilting of Granny Weatherall
    • Research: Writing with Sources
    • Creating a Research Plan
    • Enter Research with a Plan of Action
    • What Does Your Own Institution Offer?
    • Plan the Type of Research You Want to Do
    • Selecting a Research Topic and Generating Research Questions
    • Use Close Reading as Your Starting Point
    • Select Your Topic
    • Skim Resources Through Preliminary Research
    • Narrow Your Topic and Form a Working Thesis
    • Sample Student Work: Digital Research Folder Assignment and Research Plan Notes
    • Sample Student Work: Digital Research Folder “Working Thesis” Notes
    • Generate Key Concepts as Keywords
    • Create Inquiry Questions
    • Sample Student Work: Digital Research Folder “Research Keywords” and “Inquiry Questions” Notes
    • Locating Materials Through Productive Searches
    • Generate Meaningful Keywords
    • Checklist: Creating Meaningful Keywords for a Successful Search
    • Using Academic Databases to Locate Materials
    • Search Full-Text Academic Databases
    • Search the MLA Database
    • Perform Advanced Keyword Searches
    • Sample Student Work: Searching the Academic Database
    • Using the Library Catalog to Locate Materials
    • Locate Books and Additional Resources
    • Sample Student Work: Searching the Library Catalog
    • Using the Internet to Perform Meaningful Research
    • Sample Student Work: Searching the Internet
    • Evaluating Sources for Academic Quality
    • Checklist: Evaluating Web Sites for Quality
    • Sample Student Work: Evaluating Sources for Academic Quality
    • Evaluate Sources for Topic “Fit”

Your questions answered

Introducing Pearson+. Reimagined learning, designed for you. Choose from one eTextbook or over 1,500 eTextbooks and study tools, all in one place, for one low monthly subscription. A new way to buy books that fits your budget. Make the most of your study time with offline access, enhanced search, notes and flashcards — to get organized, get the work done quicker and get results. Plus, with the app, put textbooks in your pocket and learn wherever. It's time to upgrade the textbook and simplify learning, so you can have time to live too.

Pearson eTextbook is an easy-to-use digital textbook available from Pearson+. Make it your own by adding notes and highlights. Download the Pearson+ mobile app to learn on the go, even offline. Listen on the go with our new audiobook feature, available for most titles.

When you choose a plan, you're signing up for a 4-month 'term'. You can opt to make a one-time payment for the initial 4-month term or pay monthly. If you opt for monthly payments, we will charge your payment method each month until your 4-month term has ended. You can turn on auto-renew in My account at any time to continue your subscription before your 4-month term has ended.

When you purchase a Pearson+ subscription, it will last 4 months. Before your initial 4-month term ends, you can extend your subscription by turning auto-renew on in My account.

If you turn auto-renew on, we’ll automatically renew your subscription and charge you every month until you turn off auto-renew. If you made a one-time payment for your initial 4-month term, you’ll now pay monthly.

To avoid the next payment charge, make sure you turn auto renewal off 1 day before the auto renewal date. You can subscribe again after auto-renew has been turned off by purchasing another Pearson+ subscription. We use your credit card to renew your subscription automatically. To make sure your learning is uninterrupted, please check your card details before your first monthly payment.

With a Multi Pearson+ subscription plan, you can download up to 10 titles on the Pearson+ app from My list on each of your authorized devices every month.

When you're using your Multi Pearson+ subscription plan in a browser, you can select and read from as many titles as you like.