The subject of this book is the crossover between critical study and creative writing. 'Active reading' is a structured process of writing activities using imitation, variation and experimentation. Through practical composition techniques such as 'transformational writing', 're-writing' or 'translation', students can use writing activities to develop their critical imagination. This book bridges the gap between theories of learning and Literary studies in Higher Education. Setting the argument in an historical and theoretical context, it outlines the importance of writing as a medium of learning and argues for its usefulness in aiding English students' understanding of theoretical as well as literary and cultural texts. The authors provide a reflective account of teaching and assessment methods using writing activities and critical thinking techniques and the forms of learning they promote. In the last section, they explore the connections with other forms of writing practice in related disciplines and argue for the role of transformational writing in promoting independent learning. Appendices provide examples of the range of activities that can be used and an indicative list of literary examples.