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Writing About Literature (11th Edition) Paperback – August 20, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0131540576 ISBN-10: 0131540572 Edition: 11th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 11 edition (August 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131540572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131540576
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In this Eighth Edition of Writing About Literature, Roberts has kept and strengthened the features that have brought this textbook such acclaim in previous editions, while bringing other areas of both content and strategy through almost total revision. The text provides comprehensive discussions and sample papers for students who are writing about the elements of literature. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Key Benefit: In its eighth edition, the author has kept and strengthened the features that have brought this book such acclaim in previous editions, while bringing other areas of both content and strategy through almost total revision. The book provides comprehensive discussions and sample papers for readers who are writing about the elements of literature. Key FEATURES: Special writing topics at the ends of chapters, offering helpful short notes to help readers think about and develop their own writing. Includes critical approaches that have proved important in twentieth-century literary studies. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE offers clear strategies for writing a variety of literary analysis essays. Many examples and step-by-step procedures to write a variety of essays such as: characterization, setting, metaphor and allegory, point of view, theme, imagery, and tone. An appendix at the back of the book provides samples of literature for students to use as resources for analysis including classic short stories, poems, and two plays. This 9th edition also includes a chapter explaining 10 critical approaches to literature.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
A wonderfully helpful, classy book. I just wish this book had been the first choice for students at the college where I teach an introduction to literature course. I use Writing About Literature to supplement the classroom textbook. Writing About Literature makes difficult concepts about chacterization, theme, symbol, irony, and so on easier for students to understand. The narrative voice is friendly, never stiff or preachy. Super job, Mr. Roberts. This book goes with me to every introductory literature course I teach.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm forced to use this book at the college where I teach because a committee chose it. While it does an acceptable job at explaining the basics of story elements--character, plot, dialogue, etc.--its essay examples are mediocre to awful. Worse, Roberts likes to refer to what every undergraduate and graduate class I've ever taken calls a "thesis" as a "central idea." In turn, he calls a list of supporting points the "thesis." The result is never-ending confusion for students--I've actually had students tell me, "But that's not what we called a thesis in freshman composition." Also, this isn't Roberts' fault, but we use the book in American literature courses when most of his examples are British--perhaps more examples focusing on American writers would make the book more applicable to American literature courses? New editions of the book are also churned out every couple of years, but the differences between the more recent editions appear to be marginal, meaning students have to keep shelling out dollars to get the new edition for what is mostly the same information as the old edition.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Loving Father on March 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my wife who teaches English Language and Literature. She seems happy with it and has made good comments about the various sections of the book that she has used. It provides reasonably easy to understand methods to literary writing. It has become a handy reference for her along with all the other stuff she uses regularly. Her rating is a 4 out of 5 stars.
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By err on March 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am skeptical about writing tips. I'm a bit pretentious and think I tend to know best, however when I find I can't start an essay or decipher a prompt or choose a thesis, this book actually does help alot.
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bought for my son who is a sr in high school, he is hoping that there are some annotations in the book:)
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Clear pattern of organization of the material, easy to understand language of presentation, great sample essays to illustrate what is covered in each chapter – these are the major ‘selling’ points of “Writing about Literature” by Edgar V. Roberts. The organizational skills of the writer are remarkable and it makes reading the book a breeze, and comprehending the ideas is easy. For the college student in any English Composition or English Literature class this is an essential guide which can make learning enjoyable and fun.
Each chapter presents an important element in writing about a story or a poem in a clear and easy to grasp pattern. For example, when Roberts explain how to write about plot and the development of conflict and tension in literature, he explains why it is important, gives definition to the literary terms in a short, condensed and clear language, and offers at least one example essay for review, in which the major focus points are underlined. Each chapter is organized under the same fashion as the title suggests [writing about literature] – and becomes writing about a certain element in a literary work. Thus, the reader learns how to write about plot, point of view, character, close reading, structure, and setting, amongst others. The chapters are easy to follow and facilitate a good studying of the material.
Another key element which makes it easy to learn is the language used by Roberts to convey the ideas to the reader. Short sentences, guidelines for reading a story, short paragraphs, statements of the main ideas covered by each chapter – they all make for a structure which is regimented and unobtrusive, and above all, not intimidating or overwhelming for the student, especially if this is their first ‘dab’ at writing about literature on a college level.
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