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Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide [Paperback]

Tory Young
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 15.63 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

22 May 2008 0521690145 978-0521690140 First Edition
Studying English Literature is a unique guide for undergraduates beginning to study the discipline of literature and those who are thinking of doing so. Unlike books that provide a survey of literary history or non-subject specific manuals that offer rigid guidelines on how to write essays, Studying English Literature invites students to engage with the subject's history and theory whilst at the same time offering information about reading, researching and writing about literature within the context of a university. The book is practical yet not patronizing: for example, whilst the discussion of plagiarism provides clear guidelines on how not to commit this offence, it also considers the difficulties students experience finding their own 'voice' when writing and provokes reflection on the value of originality and the concepts of adaptation, appropriation and intertextuality in literature. Above all, the book prizes the idea of argument rather than insisting upon formulaic essay plans, and gives many ways of finding something to say as you read and when you write, in chapters on Reading, Argument, Essays, Sentences and References.

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Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide + An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory
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Product details

  • Paperback: 181 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; First Edition edition (22 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521690145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521690140
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'An ideal course-book and companion. Full of practical tools and fresh insights, this is a book that not only shows how to read, research and write about English literature, it also explores why. Much more than a 'study skills' manual, it encourages a genuinely historical and theoretical grasp of the subject.' Professor Rob Pope, Oxford Brookes University

'I've nothing but praise for this book: it's clear, well-structured, intelligent and most welcome in that it is subject specific and speaks to the UK university system. This surpasses all current introductory guides to studying English Literature.' Dr Matthew Woodcock, University of East Anglia

Book Description

This essential guide provides the answers every first-year English student wants to know about how to approach the subject. It explains the history of literary criticism in an easily digestible form and offers clear advice on how to read and write effectively, with many interactive features, key tips and examples.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for literature students 5 Aug 2009
I am due to start my third year in my literature degree and I wish I had found this book when I started the degree. Gives you a breakdown of what is needed to achieve various grades within a degree, as well as general stuff about theories and essays. I particuarly like the fact that the author gives lots of suggestions for further reading/websites etc. Easy to read as well. Recommended, especially for first year students, but useful as a reminder/backup as you progress, especially if you are looking to improve results.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful in the right circumstances 19 May 2012
Studying English Literature is one of several guides with this title, and it's important to note the sub-heading on this particular guide before buying it. This is a practical guide, not to be mistaken for a supportive critical text examining canonical works, or a general introduction to the subject.

What this book is NOT:
* an introduction to the discipline of English. It does cover some of the changing ideas in approaches to teaching English in order to show you what you might face at university, but it does not give an exhaustive history of the language or discussion of literary movements or anything like that.
* a text which could accompany primary texts as an evaluatory source. There are very few excerpts from canonical texts, unlike some books of the same type, meaning it could not be used as a critical text, providing opinions on extracts - it's more to help with the act of studying, reading and writing, than support for specific texts.
* easy to read cover-to-cover. Contrary to previous reviewers on here, I found it hard to sit down and digest this guide, particularly the sections on grammar and referencing. Students who don't feel they have a problem with grammar may want to skip the 'Sentences' chapter, and if the reader is not currently undertaking referencing, that section can also feel a bit dull, even if it becomes useful at a later date.

What is book IS:
* a practical guide to the study of English - in a university context. The advice offered is universal for things like grammar but the creativity and deep-analysis recommended in this guide are probably a bit advanced (and ill-advised) at an earlier stage, considering the standardisation of mark schemes in A-level and GCSE courses.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable 27 Jun 2011
By sld339
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Absolutely brilliant and really helpful when it comes to essay writing. It's also thankfully not too long either, and I got through it in a weekend! It's got quite a few good ideas on how to research your essay and how to look out for those errors that sneak past you from time to time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Handy guide 20 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a really handy introduction which includes an overview of major literary-critical movements, as well as what to expect from a literature course and how to structure essays for a degree.
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