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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $27.00
  • August 2016
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-28389-1
  • 352 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

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Essential Literary Terms

A Brief Norton Guide with Exercises

Second Edition


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Sharon Hamilton (Author, Buckingham Brown & Nichols School)


Help your students get the most out of their literature course.

Updated with new terms, examples, and exercises, and to reflect the 2016 MLA guidelines, the Second Edition of Essential Literary Terms defines more than 225 must-know literary terms in clear and concise prose, and offers an abundance of examples and exercises to enhance understanding. Master teacher Sharon Hamilton has drawn on decades of teaching experience at the college and AP® levels to design this book especially for introductory students.


Updated for comprehensiveness and variety

The Second Edition of Essential Literary Terms includes new terms requested by instructors, extended explanations of more difficult terms, at least one new exercise per chapter, an updated Appendix on MLA documentation, and additional online supplementary materials for instructors, including an annotation of a close reading of a literary passage.  

Designed for ease of reference

This slim, easy-to-navigate, and inexpensive volume is the perfect companion to any literature course at the college, AP®, or high school honors level. Essential Literary Terms is written in a flexible, modular style that clearly identifies primary terms and alerts students to related terms defined elsewhere in the book. 

More than 100 exercises build critical analysis skills

 Skill-building exercises distinguish Essential Literary Terms. The exercises ask students to identify a literary device in a passage, analyze how the device functions within that passage, and describe its overall effect. Every chapter includes at least one new exercise.

A great value in print or digital format

Students can opt for the inexpensive paperback or purchase the new Digital Edition for just a fraction of the print price. Ebook access is perpetual, so students can reference the text throughout their academic careers. Instructors can package the print text with any other Norton book for $10 net or package the ebook for just $5 net.  

AP® and Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product. 

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