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Cover of Writing about Literature through Theory v1.0
February 2013
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ISBN (Digital): 

Writing about Literature through Theory

Version 1.0
By John Pennington and Ryan Cordell

Included Supplements

Key Features

Teaching Introduction to Literature? This book is for you.

Supplements are not available for this title.


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Writing about Literature through Theory by Pennington and Cordell is the first introduction to literature text to embrace both the best of print culture and the opportunities of the digital age, while being grounded in the rhetoric and composition field pertaining to the developmental writing process. It is also unique because it uses literary theory as the foundation for students’ development as critical thinkers and writers. Following Gerald Graff’s ideas in “Disliking Books at an Early Age,”

Writing about Literature through Theory uses theoretical approaches to open literary texts up to students across the disciplines.

Writing about Literature through Theory focuses on writing as a process, and each chapter includes the following:

Introductory material that defines theoretical schools of thought.


Each chapter is designed for students in introductory literature classes and describes these schools broadly, as areas of intellectual interest for students of literature.

Sample student essays from introductory literature classes that will follow initial drafts, peer editing, revising, and final versions.


Many “introduction to literature” texts include a few sample essays, but the authors feel the inclusion of student essays is a game changing feature that helps students to better understand the goals of the chapter.

Writing prompts that challenge the students to question the literary text using the theory under discussion.


The goal of these writing prompts are to help students focus narrowly on the literary text using the theory under examination and lead to potential focal points for their critical essays.

Sample in-class activities for instructors. The authors designed these activities to include more in-class writing prompts that will help students begin thinking theoretically. In addition, there are group activities that will help students tie the text’s literary and theoretical readings together. And finally, there are sample questions to help generate and sustain in-class discussions.

Take a look at Writing about Literature through Theory by Pennington and Cordell today to see if it’s literary theory focus and plethora of in chapter assets suit the needs of your course and students.

At FlatWorld, we take pride in providing a range of high-quality supplements alongside our titles, to help instructors teach effectively. Supplements are available for instructors who have registered their adoption with us. If you need to review or preview something specific, please contact us.

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John Pennington Saint Norbert College

John Pennington is a professor of English at St. Norbert College. He specializes in Victorian fairy tales and focuses much of his work on George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish fairy tale and fantasy writer, a key influence on C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and Madeleine L'Engle. He has published widely on MacDonald and the following writers: Lewis Carroll, John Ruskin, J. M. Barrie, Richard Adams, Ursula K. LeGuin, J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman. He is the editor of North Wind: A Journal of George MacDonald Studies.

Ryan Cordell Saint Norbert College

Ryan Cordell is an Assistant Professor of English and the Director of Writing-Across-the-Curriculum at St. Norbert College. Ryan's scholarship focuses nineteenth century religion, literature, and periodical culture. He has written about the influence of temperance rhetoric on abolitionist fiction and the prevalence of apocalyptic rhetoric in antebellum print culture. Ryan is also interested in digital innovations to humanities research, publication, and teaching. Ryan is building a digital edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Celestial Railroad," that will allow scholars, teachers, and students to compare versions of the story that were reprinted in religious periodicals across the United States in the 1840s and 50s. Ryan serves as a mentor to St. Norbert students in the HASTAC Scholars Program. Ryan also writes about technology and higher education for the group blog ProfHacker at the Chronicle of Higher Education.
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