Features and Benefits



  • 47 Stories (9 NEW TO THIS EDITION)
    • Gives students a broad selection of time-tested classics by writers like Guy de Maupassant, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Shirley Jackson alongside of acclaimed, innovative contemporary work by such diverse voices as Amy Tan, Raymond Carver, and Leslie Marmon Silko.
    • Allows opportunities for deeper study and source-based research through a generous “Casebook” of Edgar Allan Poe stories accompanied by critical readings.
  • 346 Poems (73 NEW TO THIS EDITION)
    • Introduces students to the emotional power and great variety of poetic forms, voices, and subjects
    • Provides opportunities to study and compare multiple works by four major poets–Dickinson, Frost, Hughes, and Plath–enriched with valuable biographical and critical materials.
  • 17 Dramas (4 NEW TO THIS EDITION)
    • Delivers a thorough overview of dramatic forms, from ancient texts to contemporary theatre, including seminal tragedies, comedies, and versions of reality.
    • Presents students with the opportunity to delve more deeply into a playwright’s work, pairing Ibsen’s classic play, A Dollhouse, with a selection of excellent examples of critical approaches toward the work.





  • Writing about literature integrated in every chapter–Includes coverage of writing about each element (i.e. character, setting, tone) followed by a sample student essay and commentary on the essay.
    • Helps students progress in their writing skills by showing a response to the work, raising questions about the work, showing how to organize their thoughts, select details, and plan the essay.
  • An entire section of the book, Part I, is devoted to Reading, Responding to, and Writing about Literature
    • Prepares students to read critically, walks students through the writing process (discovering ideas, making initial drafts, and completing the essay), and demonstrates the process with 2 drafts of a student essay. 
  • 53 sample student essays and paragraphs—all formatted in the most up-to-date version of MLA-style. 
    • Helps model student writing and MLA style for students.
  • Using Sources Effectively, a new feature, demonstrates how students should quote, summarize, and paraphrase sources correctly and strategically.
    • Shows students how to follow the discipline’s conventions of writing about literature to use sources so that they will have maximum impact on readers.
  • Special Writing Topics about Literature–Places special emphasis on different popular writing assignments (compare/contrast, respond, argue), critical approaches to literature, and answering essay test questions about literary works.
    • Coaches students through some of the more common yet challenging aspects of writing about literature.


  • Three chapters on research–one each for fiction, poetry and drama–feature full MLA-style research papers annotated to point out research information specific to each genre.  Chapter 10A features full coverage of the research process including paraphrasing material, avoiding plagiarism, and citing sources.
  • MLA document maps:  These visual representations help students locate key information on frequently-cited sources such as books and websites.



  • Portraits/photos of writers–to give readers a more personal sense of the authors being studied.  
  • Attractive and Accessible Design—clear layout, illustrations, and art/photos to bring texts to life for readers
  • Graphic novels/cartoons.  An expanded selection from Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Mausillustrates this popular genre.
  • Screenshots illustrating the research process in Chapter 10A - showing, not just telling, students how to conduct research in today's electronic environment. 



  • Inside front cover–Makes it easy to find the book’s writing and research features.
  • Helpful quick-reference materials–A thorough Glossary of Terms, an alternate Thematic Table of Contents, and both Chronological and Alphabetical Lists of Authors are included in the text.
    • Provide students with easy-access reference guides. Gives instructors flexibility and useful in building their syllabi.
  • Table of Contents Design-The table of contents has icons to help you quickly find some of the features.
    • A leaf emblem highlights new readings and a paper icon shows where the demonstrative student essays are found.