The book, “How to Read Literature Like a Professor Study Guide†was a literary work targeting adult learners and novice college students.

It aimed to superimpose mastering literary skills for the target groups. However, it was a shocker when it emerged a popular book in high schools and even paramountessays incorporated in the AP Literature syllabus.

The author begins by highlighting the weaknesses of college students that makes it impossible to read literature as professionals do. Notably, they read literature so effortlessly, which gives the impression that they are inventing it. However, they have conquered the analysis art because they connect with literature extensively than ordinary people cannot comprehend. Notably, the professor alleges that the 3 main basics of reading literature include pattern, memory, and symbol of a language.

The writer claims that readers cannot have assurance over their comprehension of a prose in the end. However, they should fear but trust in their instincts because it is exclusive to themselves. The list bellows contains the main themes in the study guide:

  • Symbol and Metaphor
  • Intertextuality
  • Literature, Life and Society
  • Surface Reading vs. Deeper Reading

The list of reading practices covered by the author provides a reasonable basis for readers to grow their proficiencies via practice. Understandably, readers can learn to read literature like a professor though comprehension of context.

Literature, Life and Society

The book extends beyond the confines of a classroom because literature teaches us to understand our lives and minds. The reading culture creates a compassionate and harmonious society. If individuals can evaluate multiple layers of meanings, comprehend irony, make connections between texts, then they can engage logically in real life. The professor also makes contextual reference to historical events, popular culture, and philosophical debates to illustrate we don’t exist in a vacuum.

Surface Reading vs. Deeper Reading

The study guide highlights the resistance of ordinary people towards the way a professor reads literature. Notably, they take the superficial meaning without thinking about the intended meaning. Consequently, people read without understanding the work of literature. Therefore, more in-depth reading is a vigorous and visionary exercise that inspires the reader to collaborate with the author in deducing the meaning of literature work. Besides, they can express different opinions about the meaning.


It refers to the link between texts in history. Instead of looking at the help to write an essay literary text as a vacuum, the reader should think about their connection with particular cultural and religious traditions. The relationships are meaningful in literature work because it links literature and reality.

Symbol and Metaphor

They have some distinction albeit close meaning. The symbol has a different meaning from its verbatim one, while Metaphor is a figure of speech that portrays an idea indirectly. For instance, a flower may symbolize regeneration or natural attraction in a poem. However, “flower of youth†may imply virginity in a Biblical metaphor. The writer emphasizes that there are the hidden meaning of things, images and actions used in Literature. Therefore, readers should familiarize to with figurative imaginations.