• 1. Writing about Lit: a Primer Dr. Gerald Lucas
  • 2. Present Tense • Write about literature in the present tense
  • 3. Present Tense • Write about literature in the present tense • Odysseus pokes out the cyclops’ eye.
  • 4. Present Tense • Write about literature in the present tense • Odysseus pokes out the cyclops’ eye. • Not: Odysseus poked out the cyclops’ eye.
  • 5. Research • Begin with
  • 6. Research • Begin with • Dictionaries
  • 7. Research • Begin with • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias
  • 8. Research • Begin with • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias • Google
  • 9. Research • Begin with • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias • Google • Yahoo
  • 10. Cite • Cite only solid sources, like
  • 11. Cite • Cite only solid sources, like • Professional web sites
  • 12. Cite • Cite only solid sources, like • Professional web sites • Journal articles (some online)
  • 13. Cite • Cite only solid sources, like • Professional web sites • Journal articles (some online) • Books
  • 14. Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks
  • 15. Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress”
  • 16. Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress” • Story: “Babylon Revisited”
  • 17. Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress” • Story: “Babylon Revisited” • Song: “Ants Marching”
  • 18. 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”
  • 19. Titles • Long works are italicized
  • 20. Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club
  • 21. Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club • Film: Star Wars
  • 22. Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club • Film: Star Wars • TV Series: Star Trek
  • 23. Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club • Film: Star Wars • TV Series: Star Trek • Play: Hamlet
  • 24. If unsure about how to present a title: look it up!
  • 25. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary
  • 26. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book”
  • 27. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book” • “protagonist,” not “main character”
  • 28. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book” • “protagonist,” not “main character” • “antagonist,” not “bad guy”
  • 29. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book” • “protagonist,” not “main character” • “antagonist,” not “bad guy” • “film,” not “movie”
  • 30. When arguing a point: use specific textual evidence.
  • 31. Quote Correctly • Incorporate the quotation and citation
  • 32. Quote Correctly • Incorporate the quotation and citation • The writer shares a connection: “the axolotls spoke to me” (398).
  • 33. 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).
  • 34. 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)
  • 35. When a quotation is long, it should be block quoted.
  • 36. Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176)
  • 37. Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176) • Must have:
  • 38. Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176) • Must have: • In-text parenthetical citation
  • 39. Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176) • Must have: • In-text parenthetical citation • Works cited entry
  • 40. In-Text Citations • Appear at the end of the sentence
  • 41. In-Text Citations • Appear at the end of the sentence • List the author’s last name and page # in parentheses
  • 42. Works Cited Page • Lists any work that you cite
  • 43. Works Cited Page • Lists any work that you cite • Uses MLA style in English courses unless told otherwise
  • 44. Works Cited Page • Lists any work that you cite • Uses MLA style in English courses unless told otherwise • Must follow a particular format
  • 45. MLA is tricky only if you don’t look it up!
  • 46. Writing about Literature • Focus
  • 47. Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all
  • 48. Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif
  • 49. Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif • Analyze a character
  • 50. Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif • Analyze a character • Discuss a metaphor
  • 51. 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
  • 52. Have a thesis!
  • 53. Organize • Focus on a major issue
  • 54. Organize • Focus on a major issue • Follow a logical order
  • 55. Organize • Focus on a major issue • Follow a logical order • Compare or contrast characters, works, etc.
  • 56. Organize • Focus on a major issue • Follow a logical order • Compare or contrast characters, works, etc. • Work toward synthesis
  • 57. Write Critically • Use citations
  • 58. Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response
  • 59. Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response • Remember art
  • 60. Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response • Remember art • Consider style and rhetoric
  • 61. Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response • Remember art • Consider style and rhetoric • Don’t ape critics or peers
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Writing About Lit: a Primer

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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.
Download Writing About Lit: a Primer

Transcript

  • 1. Writing about Lit: a Primer Dr. Gerald Lucas
  • 2. Present Tense • Write about literature in the present tense
  • 3. Present Tense • Write about literature in the present tense • Odysseus pokes out the cyclops’ eye.
  • 4. Present Tense • Write about literature in the present tense • Odysseus pokes out the cyclops’ eye. • Not: Odysseus poked out the cyclops’ eye.
  • 5. Research • Begin with
  • 6. Research • Begin with • Dictionaries
  • 7. Research • Begin with • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias
  • 8. Research • Begin with • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias • Google
  • 9. Research • Begin with • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias • Google • Yahoo
  • 10. Cite • Cite only solid sources, like
  • 11. Cite • Cite only solid sources, like • Professional web sites
  • 12. Cite • Cite only solid sources, like • Professional web sites • Journal articles (some online)
  • 13. Cite • Cite only solid sources, like • Professional web sites • Journal articles (some online) • Books
  • 14. Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks
  • 15. Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress”
  • 16. Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress” • Story: “Babylon Revisited”
  • 17. Titles • Titles of short works are in quotation marks • Poem: “To His Coy Mistress” • Story: “Babylon Revisited” • Song: “Ants Marching”
  • 18. 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”
  • 19. Titles • Long works are italicized
  • 20. Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club
  • 21. Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club • Film: Star Wars
  • 22. Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club • Film: Star Wars • TV Series: Star Trek
  • 23. Titles • Long works are italicized • Novel: Fight Club • Film: Star Wars • TV Series: Star Trek • Play: Hamlet
  • 24. If unsure about how to present a title: look it up!
  • 25. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary
  • 26. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book”
  • 27. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book” • “protagonist,” not “main character”
  • 28. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book” • “protagonist,” not “main character” • “antagonist,” not “bad guy”
  • 29. Vocabulary • Use literary vocabulary • “novel,” not “book” • “protagonist,” not “main character” • “antagonist,” not “bad guy” • “film,” not “movie”
  • 30. When arguing a point: use specific textual evidence.
  • 31. Quote Correctly • Incorporate the quotation and citation
  • 32. Quote Correctly • Incorporate the quotation and citation • The writer shares a connection: “the axolotls spoke to me” (398).
  • 33. 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).
  • 34. 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)
  • 35. When a quotation is long, it should be block quoted.
  • 36. Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176)
  • 37. Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176) • Must have:
  • 38. Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176) • Must have: • In-text parenthetical citation
  • 39. Use Proper MLA • Refer to The Writer’s FAQs (176) • Must have: • In-text parenthetical citation • Works cited entry
  • 40. In-Text Citations • Appear at the end of the sentence
  • 41. In-Text Citations • Appear at the end of the sentence • List the author’s last name and page # in parentheses
  • 42. Works Cited Page • Lists any work that you cite
  • 43. Works Cited Page • Lists any work that you cite • Uses MLA style in English courses unless told otherwise
  • 44. Works Cited Page • Lists any work that you cite • Uses MLA style in English courses unless told otherwise • Must follow a particular format
  • 45. MLA is tricky only if you don’t look it up!
  • 46. Writing about Literature • Focus
  • 47. Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all
  • 48. Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif
  • 49. Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif • Analyze a character
  • 50. Writing about Literature • Focus • Do not try to write it all • Illustrate a theme or motif • Analyze a character • Discuss a metaphor
  • 51. 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
  • 52. Have a thesis!
  • 53. Organize • Focus on a major issue
  • 54. Organize • Focus on a major issue • Follow a logical order
  • 55. Organize • Focus on a major issue • Follow a logical order • Compare or contrast characters, works, etc.
  • 56. Organize • Focus on a major issue • Follow a logical order • Compare or contrast characters, works, etc. • Work toward synthesis
  • 57. Write Critically • Use citations
  • 58. Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response
  • 59. Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response • Remember art
  • 60. Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response • Remember art • Consider style and rhetoric
  • 61. Write Critically • Use citations • Focus on response • Remember art • Consider style and rhetoric • Don’t ape critics or peers
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