This is a new edition of this established guide for students studying literature for the first time. This up-to-the minute foundational guide introduces the full range of literary forms, styles, theories and critical strategies which new students need to cover. By careful use of examples it demonstrates exactly how strategies for reading texts can be put to work and all texts discussed are conveniently available in the Norton Anthology of English Literature. The successful first edition is now updated with the latest in research and teaching by the academics based at one of the UK's leading university literature departments. It features a new Students Resources section with 3 new chapters on Reading, Writing, and Reflecting and including 'how to' features such as how to avoid plagiarism, and how to prepare a bibliography. It discusses both British and American authors, while the texts discussed in the book generally appear in the Norton Anthology of English Literature. It introduces a wide range of literary forms, styles and critical strategies, essential knowledge for the beginning student of literature.