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One of the biggest problems for lecturers teaching beginning literature students is increasing their confidence in their own critical ability - this book aims to offer a solution by improving students' understanding of critical concepts and approaches and giving practice, and increased confidence, in reading critically."How to Read Texts" introduces key critical approaches to literary texts and offers a practical introduction for students developing their own critical and close-reading skills. Written in a lively, jargon-free style, it explains critical concepts, approaches and ideas including: debates around critical theory; the role of history and context; the links between creativity and criticism; and, the relationship between author, reader and text.Practical examples, readings, exercises and 'checkpoints' help students to work on their own readings of both primary and secondary texts and to explore the links between critical and creative writing. The book enables students to gain confidence in their critical readings of a variety of texts and encourages them to challenge the assumptions behind other critics' readings. "How to Read Texts" is an indispensable guide for any English student who wants to develop their reading of literary and critical texts.