Writing About Literature OpenCourseWare: A Free Online Undergraduate Literature Course by MIT

Published Feb 07, 2009

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Expand your passion for literature with this free OpenCourseWare from MIT. In 'Writing About Literature,' students develop the critical tools to think and write about a diverse body of texts, from the plays of William Shakespeare to stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. Taught at the undergraduate level, this online course is intended for students with an interest in Literature, English and related fields.

Writing About Literature: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
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Writing About Literature: Course Description

Many readers struggle to find the means to clearly express their ideas about the books, poems, plays and other writings that bring them joy. In MIT's 'Writing About Literature,' taught by Professor Wyn Kelley, students develop the critical tools needed to formally analyze and write about literary texts. A diverse body of literature is presented in the course, including Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, Michael Frayn's Copenhagen and Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies. The primary goal of the 'Writing About Literature' OpenCourseWare is to encourage students to take pleasure in reading and writing about complex literary works. The course frames the analysis of the texts through a series of questions about how authors consider the use of written language. Students explore the boundaries of the works, how many works draw from different sources, how themes are re-imagined into other media, how an author communicates through writing and how a reader can understand and interpret these communications.

A list of suggested readings, written assignments and study guides on close reading and literary allusion are available on the course website. To learn more, visit the writing about literature course page.

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