The Study of Literature for High School and College Prep

Posted in College Prep, High School, Literature, Public Domain, Reading on December 30, 2011 - by

The study of literature is a satisfying and complex discipline that can be immensely useful to the student who wishes to go on to higher education.

Here are three books geared toward the high school student that expertly describe a course of study that could be taken for credit in English Literature.

Click on each title to download from Google Books.  Excerpts from the books follow the title.

How to Study Literature

The aim of this manual is to facilitate the systematic, careful, and appreciative study of literature as literature. It concentrates attention upon the text itself, not upon editorial explanation or comment. It furnishes means by which the student may ascertain for himself the chief characteristics of the book studied. It acquaints him with the fundamental principles of literary construction, and asks him to decide for himself how far these principles have been observed. Not to present ready-made opinions for his acceptance, but to teach him to see for himself and to judge for himself is the aim throughout.

Studies in Literature and Style

By Literary Studies is meant, in a word, the study of authorship in written form, in book and treatise and pamphlet. In the words of Professor Hart, of Ohio, it may be said, quoting in substance, “that literature is the study of life and feeling as it is reflected in the best prose and poetry.”

Studies in English Literature

In the prescribed curricula of most high-schools, English literature and rhetoric find an important place. Yet, perhaps, no subjects are less satisfactorily taught. The study of English literature is, for the most part, confined to a cram on the personal biography of authors; at the best, it is a reading about literature rather than a reading in literature. The study of rhetoric is, for the most part, confined to the learning of abstract definitions and principles.

This volume of masterpieces is designed to occupy a place at the meeting-point of literature and rhetoric— to restore the twain to their natural and fruitful relationship.

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