Now in its second edition, How to Read Texts introduces students to key critical approaches to literary texts and offers a practical introduction for students developing their own critical and close-reading skills. Written in a lively, jargon-free style, it explains critical concepts, approaches and ideas including:
- Debates around critical theory
- The role of history and context
- The links between creativity and criticism
- The relationship between author, reader and text.
The new edition now includes guidance on analysing a range of multi-media texts, including film and online media as well as the purely literary. In addition to new practical examples, readings, exercises and 'checkpoints' that help students to build confidence in their own critical readings of both primary and secondary texts, the book now also offers guidance on writing fully-formed critical essays and tips for independent research. Comprehensively updated and revised throughout, How to Read Texts is an indispensible guide for students making the transition to university study.
Neil McCaw is Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Winchester, UK.
1. What is a Text and What Do We Do With It? Thinking about texts Texts in the digital age Terminology and differences Levels of reading Theories of reading 2. Creative Reading What is criticism? What is creativity? Being critical and creative Reading as a critic vs. reading as a writer Creativity and/as research 3. Close Reading The history of close reading The benefits of close reading The problems with close reading New ways of applying close-reading-skills Researching texts close-up 4. Biography and Authorship The role of the author The significance of biography Life-writing The limitations of author-centred approaches Researching authors 5. History and Contexts How history fits in Other types of context A critique of historical reading The strengths of historical reading Researching contexts 6. Reading Theoretically What is theory? The origins of theory The impact of theory The achievements of theory After theory Conclusion: Reading Now! Notes Bibliography Index