Writing about the Humanities

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9780130229946: Writing about the Humanities

A supplement for Introductory Humanities courses, as well as for Introductory Literature and Art History courses. This brief, practical guide to writing papers in humanities courses provides students with guidance in analyzing and interpreting works of art, literature, and music. The first half of the book covers general issues in writing about the humanities disciplines, including how to respond to, interpret, and evaluate different types of artworks. The second half focuses more specifically on writing in literature and the arts as well as the particulars of writing with, and documenting, sources. An appendix covers writing essay examinations. Sample papers are included.

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From the Back Cover:

This brief, practical guide explores the many aspects involved in writing about works of art, literature, and music. It details the multiple approaches to artworks (responding, interpreting, evaluating); the steps of interpretation (observing, connecting, inferring, and concluding); the writing process (drafting, organizing, revising, editing, proofreading, comparing); and the research process, including interaction with today's electronic media tools. Includes reproductions of works of literature and art. Writing samples are included. The first half of the book covers general issues in writing about the humanities disciplines, including how to respond to, interpret, and evaluate different types of artworks. The second half focuses more specifically on writing in literature and the arts as well as the particulars of writing with, and documenting, sources. For anyone interested in writing about art, music, and literature.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Like its predecessor, this second of edition of Writing About the Humanities is designed for students in introductory humanities courses, but it can be used by students in introductory literature and art history courses as well. The book's opening chapters provide overviews of and approaches to the writing process generally and to writing about the humanities, illustrated with examples from various humanities disciplines. The two concluding chapters deal with writing based on research. In between, five chapters explore and explain how to write about particular humanities disciplines, including art and architecture, music, fiction and poetry, drama and theater, and film. An appendix on writing essay examinations concludes the book.

This second edition of Writing About the Humanities is an expansion of the first, with-new material added to some chapters, others split off and enlarged, and a new chapter on writing about film. Among the book's distinctive and practical features are the following:

  • Consideration of multiple approaches to artworks, including responding, interpreting, and evaluating
  • An approach to interpretation, including observing, connecting, inferring, and concluding
  • A set of guidelines for the writing process, including strategies for prewriting, drafting, and revising
  • Writing exercises and assignments
  • Sample student papers in various disciplines
  • Examples of professional writing in the different disciplines
  • Reproduction of written texts and visual images for analysis and writing
  • Guidance in doing research writing, including using Internet sources

For assistance with Writing About the Humanities I would like to thank the reviewers, who provided valuable suggestions, which I have utilized in this revision.

Thanks also to Bud Therien at Prentice Hall for sponsoring the book, and to Kimberly Chastain and Sarah Touborg, who have lent it their expertise and support. Finally, a word of thanks to my children, Karen and Michael, who provided sample papers on literature and art, respectively, and a note of appreciation to my wife, Mary, for her unfailing devotion and steadfast love.

Robert DiYanni

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