Recommended Sources for University Entrance Exams

Recommended Sources for University Entrance Exams (Master’s Degree in English Literature)
  • Compiled by Farzaneh Doosti, PhD
  • Updated  June 8, 2019

  • This list first appeared in the book Comprehensive MA Tests in English Literature (by Farzaneh Doosti and Shadi Fard Teimoori)Tehran: Rahnama, 2007.

  • The sources for the university entrance exam in English Literature are diverse, covering a wide range of books which do not hold the same position in terms of priority. These sources could be divided into three categories:

    1. The Primary Sources are those basic books that contain the very first things of English literature. We recommend that the books in this category should be studied at least twice before taking any exams:

    1. A Glossary of Literary Terms (Abrams)
    2. The Norton Anthology of English Literature (Abrams)
    3. An Introduction to Literary Criticism (Dutton)
    4. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature (Guerin)

    1. The Secondary Sources are the next but not the less important sources that the students should be quite familiar with. If there is plenty of time before taking exams, it is recommended to read the books at least one time:

    1. Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense (Perrine – 3 vols)
    2. A Dictionary of Literary Terms (Cuddon)
    3. An Outline of English Literature (Thornley & Roberts)
    4. Cambridge Paperback Guide to Literature in English (Ousby)
    5. The McGrow-Hill Guide to English Literature (Lawrence – 2 vols)
    6. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice (Bressler)
    7. The Oxford Companion to English Literature (Drabble)

    Further Reading refers to those kinds of books helpful in expanding the general knowledge of the field and quite recommended, but not suggested for the beginners or those short of time. You can find a number of such sources listed in the bibliography below:


    1. Abjadian, Amrollah. A Survey of English Literature. 2 Vols. Tehran: SAMT, 2000.
    2. Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 3rd ed. NY: Ithaca, 1970.
    3. Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 6th ed. Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1993.
    4. Abrams, M.H. et al. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors. 5th ed. New York and London: Norton, 1986.
    5. Bertens, Hans. Literary Theory: The Basics. New York: Routledge, 2001.
    6. Brackett, Oscar, and Franklin J. Hildy. History of the Theatre. 10th Edition, Pearson, 2014.
    7. Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1994.
    8. Clarke, R. F. The Growth and Nature of Drama. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965.
    9. Cuddon, J.A. A Dictionary of Literary Terms. Middlesex: Penguin books Ltd., 1979.
    10. Deedari, Reza and Mozhgan Mansuri. Understanding Drama. Tehran: Rahnama Press, 2001.
    11. Dobie, Ann B. Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism. Wadswort, 2012.
    12. Doosti, Farzaneh and Shadi Fard Teimoori. Comprehensive MA Tests in English Literature. Tehran: Rahnama, 2007.
    13. Drabble, Margaret. The Oxford Companion to English Literature.
    14. Dutton, Richard. An Introduction to Literary Criticism. Hong Kong: Longman York Press, 1984.
    15. Green, Keith and Jill LeBihan. A Critical Theory and Practice: A Coursebook.
    16. Guerin, Wilfred L. et al. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. 2nd ed. NY: Harper & Row.
    17. Habib, M.R. Literary Criticism from Plato to the Present. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
    18. Haghighi, Manoochehr. Literary Schools for University Students. Tehran: Avaye Noor, 1993.
    19. Hall, Vernon. A Short History of Literary Criticism. London: The Merlin Press, 1964
    20. Hawthorn, Jeremy. Studying the Novel: An Introduction. New York: Edward Arnold, 1985.
    21. High, Peter. B. An Outline of American Literature.
    22. Honarvar, Hooshang. Cyclopedia of The Openings of The Great English Novels (1680-1980). Tehran: Tehran University Press, 1998.
    23. Lawrence, Karen et al. The McGraw-Hill Guide to English Literature. 2 Vols. McGraw-Hill, Inc. 1985.
    24. Leitch, Vincent et al. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Second Edition, 2010.
    25. Milne, Ira Mark. Literary Movements for Students. Second Edition. Gale Cenage Learning, 2009.
    26. Ousby, Ian. Cambridge Paperback Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
    27. Perrine, Laurence. Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense. 3 Vols. Harcourt Brace, Inc. 1974.
    28. Sokhanvar, Jalal. The Practice of Literary Terminology. Tehran: SAMT, 1996.
    29. Thornley, G.C. and Gwyneth Roberts. An Outline of English Literature. Longman, 1984.
    30. Yeganeh, Farah. Literary Schools: A Reader. Tehran: Rahnama Press, 2002.


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