Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing is a carefully chosen anthology of literature with works of fiction, poems, and drama selections, including two from films. These three major sections of the book begin with an overview of the genre that guides students through their reading, and the following chapters offer guidance in the analysis of the discrete elements of the genre in question. Writing about literature is throughly integrated into every chapter.

In addition to the genre selections, the text includes a chapter on research writing, a chapter on ten forms of literary criticism, a chapter on taking examinations on literature, and a chapter on comparison-contrast analysis.