We do not claim that literature makes a reader wiser or better, but we do claim that it opens a reader’s eyes to points of view, to states of feeling, that we might not have been aware of. Barnet & Cain
Why write about literature? • To clarify and to account for our responses to works that interest or excite or frustrate us • to deepen understanding of literary works by reading in greater depth than normal • to communicate your views and interpretation of the literature to others • to provide additional practice in writing clearly and persuasively
Who should I write for? Consider your audience • age/maturity/educational level • cultural background • will your audience have read the work you are writing about
What approach shall I use? 1. Focus on a single literary work. • explication • analysis
2. Comparison and contrast - discuss the similarities and differences between two works. • plot • theme • literary value • subject matter
3. Discuss a number of works by a single author: • focus on unique characteristics in the author's writing, • examine the author's growth as a writer through a study of the works, • examine how the author's life experience affected his/her work.
4. Discuss a number of works with something in common other than the author.
5. React to the message in the literature. Write a paper either challenging or supporting the theme of the literary piece(s) you are referencing.
Writing the Paper • Read and study the assigned literature (take notes) • Think about the information gained from the reading; let it incubate a few days • Brainstorm - Jot down a list • Follow the rest of the steps in the process approach to writing.