The Writing of Literature is the writing volume of Level 4 of the Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum. While the writing books of the other six levels are about formal academic writing: academic essays and research papers—the sort of nonfiction writing that all students must do in academic courses and in most professions, this volume focuses on the language of classic fiction and nonfiction.
Thompson writes in the introduction: Our task is to see what writing secrets great novels can teach us about the kind of writing that we do and to absorb writing elements that help us become great readers.... Classic novelists show us deeper strategies that are not usually mentioned in school instructions for beginners . One reason that the writers of immortal books are immortal is that they take commonly known writing techniques to uncommon heights, finding profound depth and beauty in the ways they use them.
This book includes interactive practice exercises, essay and discussion topics, and substantial excerpts to read from classic authors, including nonfiction from James Madison, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida M. Tarbell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and W.E.B. Dubois.