Recommended Reading for New English Literature Students

  • Cover of "The Craft of Research, Third Ed...
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    Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research, Third Edition (London: Chicago UP, 2008).

This celebrated guide offers an extraordinarily lucid account of how the writing and research process works.

  • Cameron, Julia, The Artist’s Way (New York: Penguin, 1992).

Julia Cameron’s famous book is designed to help develop creative awareness. While it is not intended only for writers (and certainly not specifically for academic writers), you may find the exercises helpful in forming ideas for your essays.

  • Gordon, Karen Elizabeth, The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager and the Doomed (New York: Pantheon, 1993).

This amusing, lavishly illustrated book offers a fantastic introduction to Low-Order Elements. Highly recommended if you find yourself struggling with grammar.

Cover of "The Elements of Style, Fourth E...
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  • Graff, Gerald and Cathey Birkenstein, They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (London: Norton, 2010).

Graff and Birkenstein’s clear and helpful book offers some insight into the effective use of secondary source material in academic writing.

  • Pope, Rob, The English Studies Book (London: Routledge, 2002).

Pope’s textbook specifically considers essay writing in the context of English language and literature studies. This is an extremely comprehensive guide, and one which you will undoubtedly find extremely useful.

  • Strunk, William & E.B. White, The Elements of Style (1918; repr. New York: Longman, 2000).

This small, inexpensive book is one of the most famous and highly regarded books on writing. Strunk & White encourage readers to develop a clear, precise writing style, and their suggestions are ideally suited for university-level academic writing.

3 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for New English Literature Students

  1. Great list! A couple of these are new to me, and I will definately be checking them out. Glad to see the Graff and Birkenstein there, which is excellent. I use it together with Hairston and Keene’s ‘Successful Writing’.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation of Hairston and Keene. I was not familiar with that one, but have had a quick scan of it, and it looks great! It’s definitely that time of year to start seriously thinking about updating syllabi and checking out new books.

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