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Writing Essays About Literature

This book gives students an answer to the question, "What does my professor want from this essay?" In lively, direct language, it explains the process of creating "a clearly-written argument, based on evidence, about the meaning, power, or structure of a literary work." Using a single poem by William Carlos Williams as the basis for the process of writing a paper about a piece of literature, it walks students through the processes of reading, brainstorming, researching secondary sources, gathering evidence, and composing and editing the paper. It is designed to strengthen argumentation skills and understanding of the relationships between the reader, the author, the text, and critical interpretations. Its lessons about clarity, precision, and the importance of providing evidence will have wide relevance for student writers.

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    Contents
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    Chapter One: The Purpose of an Essay About Literature
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    Chapter Two: Research Within the Text
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    Chapter Three: Using Reference Works
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    Chapter Four: Research About Social and Historical Contexts
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    Chapter Five: Research About the Current Critical Assessment of Literary Works
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    Chapter Six: Inventing Your Argument
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    Chapter Seven: Composing Your Argument
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    Chapter Eight: Writing the Body of the Essay
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    Chapter Nine: Editing and Proofreading Your Essay
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    Chapter Ten: Documenting Your Sources and Presenting Your Work
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    Chapter Eleven: The Process of Essay Writing--A Summary
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    Works Cited
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    Subject Index
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