Close Reading Assignment

If you want even more information about approaching poems specifically, take a look at our guide: How to Read a Poem.

As our guide to reading poetry suggests, have a pencil out when you read a text.

What a text says cannot be separated from it says it.

In high school classes, students usually are trained to read for "what the author is saying," sometimes pausing to note "symbols," "foreshadowing," "metaphors and similes," and words that convey "tone." Reading on the college level requires skills to "digest" large amounts of text into manageable chunks, to extrapolate it, meditate on it, shuttle back and forth between it and larger contexts. Students are often deeply surprised by just how slowly it is possible to read and just how much they discover when they do read slowly.

Though close reading is commonly associated with New Criticism (a movement that dominated literary studies in the U. from the 1930s to the 1970s), the method is ancient.

It was advocated by the Roman rhetorician Quintilian in his Close reading remains a fundamental critical method practiced in diverse ways by a wide range of readers in different disciplines.It is when you begin to answer these questions that you are ready to participate thoughtfully in class discussion or write a literary analysis paper that makes the most of your close reading work.Close reading sometimes feels like over-analyzing, but don’t worry.These steps may seem overly mechanical, but they show that reading, at its best, is a recursive process, a form of discovery that involves going back and back again to the same lines. Google(); req('single_work'); $('.js-splash-single-step-signup-download-button').one('click', function(e){ req_and_ready('single_work', function() ); new c. Word by word is how we learn to hear and then read, which seems only fitting, because it is how the books we are reading were written in the first place."The more we read, the faster we can perform that magic trick of seeing how the letters have been combined into words that have meaning. focuses on phenomena such as multiple meaning, paradox, irony, word play, puns, or rhetorical figures, which--as the smallest distinguishable elements of a literary work--form interdependent links with the overall context.Consequently, close readers have to employ some mechanism for piercing the veil that covers the text so as to see how it works. ' moment in which they suddenly agree to the reading, the meanings the critic suggests suddenly come into focus. "Robinson uses examples from Langston Hughes' work, especially rich in figurative language, and refers specifically to his poem, ' The Negro Speaks of Rivers.' Together, she and her students investigate each line, each stanza, piece by piece, leading to deeper levels of understanding.The standard of success for the close reader who is also a critic is therefore the "In the classroom, Robinson introduces the overall purpose of the reading assignment and then has students work independently and in partners and groups to share what they have learned. She plays an interview with him, assigns a five-paragraph essay on the Harlem Renaissance. and it applies to political journalism as well as to the reading of poetry.For example, if an author writes a novel in the form of a personal journal about a character’s daily life, but that journal reads like a series of lab reports, what do we learn about that character?What is the effect of picking a word like “tome” instead of “book”?


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