Before doing anything else, look through the whole textbook to find out how it is laid out. I will assume that you know where things like the index and the glossary are. They’re really quite useful — get used to using them.
Sir Francis Bacon: “Of Studies” (p. 171).
“An Introduction to Literary Discourse” (linked here).
Go quickly through “Writer's Handbook” (p. 933-966).
We will return to these things later on.
As you read, cover everything you come across. Consider the questions in the “Think and Discuss” sections. Some of these are quite good, and will form the backbone of our in-class discussions. In particular, when the discussion section refers you to the “Handbook of Literary Terms” in the back, look it up. These are focused, clear definitions of a variety of terms that I will expect you to know and to be able to use. I will also expect you to be familiar with any of the sidebars that come along the way, though I am not going to list each one of these in the assignments that follow. For Beowulf, for example, you should read the comment on the nature of Grendel, the note on the poetry of Beowulf, and so on. All these will add considerably to your enjoyment of the work, and will help provide a context for the rest of the material.
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