Writing About Lit: a Primer

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Information about Writing About Lit: a Primer

Published on January 23, 2008

Author: grlucas

Source: slideshare.net

Description

A brief lecture that introduces the basics we need to know when writing about literary texts. Recorded live in my World Literature 2 class, 1/9/08.

Writing about Lit: a Primer Dr. Gerald Lucas

Present Tense • Write about literature in the present tense

Present Tense • Write about literature in the present tense • Odysseus pokes out the cyclops’ eye.

Present Tense • Write about literature in the present tense • Odysseus pokes out the cyclops’ eye. • Not: Odysseus poked out the cyclops’ eye.

Research • Begin with

Research • Begin with • Dictionaries

Research • Begin with • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias

Research • Begin with • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias • Google

Research • Begin with • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias • Google • Yahoo

Cite • Cite only solid sources, like

Cite • Cite only solid sources, like • Professional web sites

Cite • Cite only solid sources, like • Professional web sites • Journal articles (some online)

Cite • Cite only solid sources, like • Professional web sites • Journal articles (some online) • Books

Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks

Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress”

Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress” • Story: “Babylon Revisited”

Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress” • Story: “Babylon Revisited” • Song: “Ants Marching”

Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress” • Story: “Babylon Revisited” • Song: “Ants Marching” • Episode of TV Series: “Doomsday”

Titles • Long works are italicized

Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club

Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club • Film: Star Wars

Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club • Film: Star Wars • TV Series: Star Trek

Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club • Film: Star Wars • TV Series: Star Trek • Play: Hamlet

If unsure about how to present a title: look it up!

Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary

Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book”

Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book” • “protagonist,” not “main character”

Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book” • “protagonist,” not “main character” • “antagonist,” not “bad guy”

Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book” • “protagonist,” not “main character” • “antagonist,” not “bad guy” • “film,” not “movie”

When arguing a point: use specific textual evidence.

Quote Correctly • Incorporate the quotation and citation

Quote Correctly • Incorporate the quotation and citation • The writer shares a connection: “the axolotls spoke to me” (398).

Quote Correctly • Incorporate the quotation and citation • The writer shares a connection: “the axolotls spoke to me” (398). • The writer shares a connection. “The axolotls spoke to me” (398).

Quote Correctly • Incorporate the quotation and citation • The writer shares a connection: “the axolotls spoke to me” (398). • The writer shares a connection. “The axolotls spoke to me” (398). • Use punctuation correctly with quotation marks (FAQs 78)

When a quotation is long, it should be block quoted.

Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176)

Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176) • Must have:

Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176) • Must have: • In-text parenthetical citation

Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176) • Must have: • In-text parenthetical citation • Works cited entry

In-Text Citations • Appear at the end of the sentence

In-Text Citations • Appear at the end of the sentence • List the author’s last name and page # in parentheses

Works Cited Page • Lists any work that you cite

Works Cited Page • Lists any work that you cite • Uses MLA style in English courses unless told otherwise

Works Cited Page • Lists any work that you cite • Uses MLA style in English courses unless told otherwise • Must follow a particular format

MLA is tricky only if you don’t look it up!

Writing about Literature • Focus

Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all

Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif

Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif • Analyze a character

Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif • Analyze a character • Discuss a metaphor

Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif • Analyze a character • Discuss a metaphor • Trace a symbol

Have a thesis!

Organize • Focus on a major issue

Organize • Focus on a major issue • Follow a logical order

Organize • Focus on a major issue • Follow a logical order • Compare or contrast characters, works, etc.

Organize • Focus on a major issue • Follow a logical order • Compare or contrast characters, works, etc. • Work toward synthesis

Write Critically • Use citations

Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response

Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response • Remember art

Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response • Remember art • Consider style and rhetoric

Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response • Remember art • Consider style and rhetoric • Don’t ape critics or peers

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