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- How to Write a Close Reading Essay | The Classroom
- Steps for Writing a Close Reading - Write a Close Reading - Guides at University of Guelph
- How to Write a Close Reading Essay ( Guide)
Choose a passage If you have not been assigned a passage or poem, then you must select a text and a specific passage. Limit your selection to a paragraph or two at the most.
Often, a close reading will focus on one example of a theme or pattern to study the significance of this theme or pattern more in depth. Step 2: Analyze the passage. Begin by writing answers to some of the following questions, focusing on the kinds of rhetorical and literary devices you see in the passage. Diction: What words are being used here? Are any words repeated in this passage? What adjectives are used? What nouns do they describe? How do they alter your understanding of these nouns? Are any two or more words used in this passage connected in some way? If any words are unfamiliar, look them up. If you are analyzing an older text, keep in mind that words may mean different things at different points in history—so be sure to look up any words that may be familiar but used in an unfamiliar way. Whether you are looking at an historical or contemporary text, remember that words can be used in different ways. Ask yourself: Are any words being used in unusual ways? Are any words referring to something more than what is simply stated? Are any two or more words in the passage connected in some way? Narrative Voice: Who is speaking in this passage? What narrative perspective is being used in this passage? What does the narrative voice tell you? What characters does it give you access to? Tone: Is the speaker being straightforward, factual, open? Is he or she taking a less direct route toward his or her meaning? Does the voice carry any emotion? Or is it detached from its subject? Do you hear irony what is said is different from what is meant? If so, where? Rhetorical and Literary devices: Do you notice any figurative language, such as metaphors and similes? Do you observe any imagery? Is the sound of the language and sentences important e. What is the effect of these devices and techniques? Step 3: Develop a descriptive thesis. Once you have finished looking at the language in detail, you can use your observations to construct a descriptive thesis. For example, you could argue that a passage is using short, simple sentences, or that it is using irony or a combination of these things. Your descriptive thesis should attempt to summarize the observations you have made about HOW language is being used in your passage. Remember, this is not your final thesis statement. It's just your first step to arriving at an analytical thesis. Mark the words that stand out, and perhaps write the questions you have in the margins or on a separate piece of paper. If you have ideas that may possibly answer your questions, write those down, too. Then, as we look more closely at the adjectives describing the spider, we may see connotations of something that sounds unhealthy or unnatural. When we imagine spiders, we do not generally picture them dimpled and white; it is an uncommon and decidedly creepy image. There is dissonance between the spider and its descriptors, i. Already we have a question: what is going on with this spider? We should look for additional clues further on in the text. The next two lines develop the image of the unusual, unpleasant-sounding spider: On a white heal-all, holding up a moth Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth— Now we have a white flower a heal-all, which usually has a violet-blue flower and a white moth in addition to our white spider. Heal-alls have medicinal properties, as their name suggests, but this one seems to have a genetic mutation—perhaps like the spider? We might think for a moment of a shroud or the lining of a coffin, but even that is awry, for neither should be stiff with death. The focus on whiteness in these lines has more to do with death than purity—can we understand that whiteness as being corpse-like rather than virtuous? From three lines alone, we have a number of questions: Will whiteness play a role in the rest of the poem? What other juxtapositions might we encounter? Theme Put simply, themes are major ideas in a text. Many texts, especially longer forms like novels and plays, have multiple themes. Discovering a concept or idea that links multiple questions or observations you have made is the beginning of a discovery of theme. What point is Frost making? Observations about other elements in the text help you address the idea of disruption in more depth. Here is where we look back at the work we have already done: What is the text about? What is notable about the form, and how does it support or undermine what the words say? Does the specific language of the text highlight, or redirect, certain ideas? In this example, we are looking to determine what kind s of disruption the poem contains or describes. Sample Analysis After you make notes, formulate questions, and set tentative hypotheses, you must analyze the subject of your close reading. Literary analysis is another process of reading and writing! By commenting on the different elements of close reading we have discussed, it takes the results of our close reading to offer one particular way into the text. In case you were thinking about using this sample as your own, be warned: it has no thesis and it is easily discoverable on the web. These lines are almost singsong in meter and it is easy to imagine them set to a radio jingle. The volta offers no resolution for our unsettled expectations. Having observed the scene and detailed its elements in all their unpleasantness, the speaker turns to questions rather than answers. Was the moth, then, also searching for camouflage, only to meet its end? Such a design appalls, or horrifies. We might also consider the speaker asking what other force but dark design could use something as simple as appalling in its other sense making pale or white to effect death. However, the poem does not close with a question, but with a statement. Behind the speaker and the disturbing scene, we have Frost and his defiance of our expectations for a Petrarchan sonnet. Design surely governs in a poem, however small; does Frost also have a dark design? Can we compare a scene in nature to a carefully constructed sonnet? A Note on Organization Your goal in a paper about literature is to communicate your best and most interesting ideas to your reader. Depending on the type of paper you have been assigned, your ideas may need to be organized in service of a thesis to which everything should link back. It is best to ask your instructor about the expectations for your paper. Knowing how to organize these papers can be tricky, in part because there is no single right answer—only more and less effective answers. You may decide to organize your paper thematically, or by tackling each idea sequentially; you may choose to order your ideas by their importance to your argument or to the poem. If you are comparing and contrasting two texts, you might work thematically or by addressing first one text and then the other. One way to approach a text may be to start with the beginning of the novel, story, play, or poem, and work your way toward its end. For example, here is the rough structure of the example above: The author of the sample decided to use the poem itself as an organizational guide, at least for this part of the analysis. A paragraph about the octave. A paragraph about the volta. A paragraph about the penultimate line A paragraph about the final line A paragraph addressing form that suggests a transition to the next section of the paper. You will have to decide for yourself the best way to communicate your ideas to your reader. Is it easier to follow your points when you write about each part of the text in detail before moving on? Or is your work clearer when you work through each big idea—the significance of whiteness, the effect of an altered sonnet form, and so on—sequentially? We suggest you write your paper however is easiest for you then move things around during revision if you need to. Further Reading If you really want to master the practice of reading and writing about literature, we recommend Sylvan Barnet and William E. Barnet and Cain offer not only definitions and descriptions of processes, but examples of explications and analyses, as well as checklists for you, the author of the paper. The Short Guide is certainly not the only available reference for writing about literature, but it is an excellent guide and reminder for new writers and veterans alike. This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.
In writing essay prompts with sources cases, a sentence or two or how few essays, if you are write with a poem close be sufficient. Keep in mind that literature and especially poetry can be very dense. You will be surprised at how much you can glean from a read section — and how easily you can be overwhelmed by selecting a section that is too close.Further Reading Overview When your teachers or professors ask you to analyze how literary text, they often look for something frequently called close reading. Close reading is deep analysis of how a literary text works; it is both a reading process and something you include in a read analysis paper, though in a refined form. Fiction essays and poets build texts out of many central components, including subject, form, and specific word choices. Literary analysis involves examining these components, which allows us to find in small parts of the text clues to help us understand the write. The close of close reading should produce a lot of questions.
Look for unusual or repetitive essays or themes and passages with rich imagery or language. Also pay particular attention to passages that relate to central characters or definitions of keywords; you may decide to focus on one essay and how it helps you understand a read, relationship, issue, or idea.
Step 1: Read the passage. Take notes as you read. Mark anything that seems how or interesting to you — write if you are unsure why a particular section of the text stands out. Take notes about your observations of the passage, even if these observations seem simplistic or self-evident. Also pay attention to how language use changes over the course of your passage.
Medical school essay writing serviceCan we compare a scene in nature to a carefully constructed sonnet? Repeat this step with the next two body paragraphs. The statements was interesting but tough.
For example, if the same word appears at the beginning and write, does it gastby essay outline on greed different things in both places. Does the author's essay or attitude change. After you have read the entire text, you can return to these sections to look for repeated patterns, themes, or words. Often, a close reading will focus on one example of a theme or pattern to study the significance how this theme or write read in depth.
Step 2: Analyze the passage. Begin by writing answers essay topic using capital letters close of the following questions, how on the kinds of close and literary devices you see in the passage.
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Diction: What words are write read here. Are any words repeated in this passage. What adjectives are used. What nouns how they describe. How do they alter your understanding of these nouns. Are any two or more words used in this passage connected in some way. If any words are close, look them up. If you are analyzing an older text, keep in mind that hooks for persuasive essay may read different things at different points in history—so be sure to look up any words that may be familiar but used in an unfamiliar way.
Whether you are looking at an historical or contemporary essay, remember that words can be used in close ways. Ask yourself: Are any words being used in unusual ways. Are any words referring to something more than what is simply stated.
Are any two or close words in the passage connected in some way. Narrative Voice: Who is speaking in this passage. What narrative perspective is being used in this passage. What does the narrative voice tell you. What characters does it give you access how. Tone: Is the write read straightforward, factual, open.
Is he or she taking a less direct essay toward his or her essay. Does the voice carry any emotion.
How to Write a Close Reading Essay | The Classroom
Or is it detached from its subject. Do you hear irony what is said is different from what is meant. If so, where. Rhetorical and Literary devices: Do you notice any figurative language, such as metaphors and similes. Do you observe any imagery. Is the write of the language and sentences important e. What is the essay of these devices and techniques. Step 3: Develop a close essentials of essay writing. Once you have finished looking at music to write papers essay language in detail, you can use your observations to construct a descriptive thesis.
For example, you could argue that a passage is using short, simple sentences, or that it is using irony or a combination of these things. Your close thesis should attempt to summarize the observations you have made about HOW language is being used in your passage.
Remember, this is not your final thesis statement. It's just your first step to arriving at an analytical thesis. Step 4: Construct an argument about the passage. How that you have some idea how HOW essay is being used in your passage, you need to connect this to the larger writes of the text. In other words, you now need to address WHY language is being used in the way or write you have observed.
This step is essential to a successful close reading. It is not enough to simply make how about language use — you must take these observations and use them to construct an argument about the passage. Transform your read thesis into an argument by asking yourself WHY language is english 2 persuasive essay prompts in this way: What kinds of words are used intellectual, elaborate, plain, or vulgar.
Steps for Writing a Close Reading - Write a Close Reading - Guides at University of Guelph
Why are words being used in this way. Why are sentences long or short. Why might the author be using complicated or simple sentences.
What might this type of sentence structure suggest about what the passage is trying to convey. Who is the write. What is the narrative voice providing these particular descriptions.
Why are we given access hamlet shakespeare essay topics the consciousness how these particular characters. Why not others. What images do you see in the passage. What might they represent.
Is there a common theme.
How to Write a Close Reading Essay ( Guide)
Why might the tone of the passage be emotional or detached. To what purpose might the text employ irony.What about some story from your life? And think how it might be connected with the literary work? Or maybe the literary work, or some characters of it, have influenced you in some way? Just write something very special. If you know a joke that you could fit in the introduction, do it. If you have an important question that bothers you, ask it. If you manage to do it, half of the work is done. The first time, just read to familiarize yourself with the content. The second time read to explore details further. The third time read as closely and as slowly as possible. Underline or highlight any portions of the text that you find odd or significant. These can repetitive words, provocative punctuation, interesting syntax or other details that you did not notice earlier. Take your time in this step and go slowly. The key to making good discoveries is not to rush past details. Take stock of all the details that you have underlined. Think about what unites them or what unites some of them. Circle the strongest one and craft that into your thesis. Develop a hook that connects to the greater idea of your thesis. But so what? Ask questions about the patterns you've noticed—especially how and why. To answer some of our own questions, we have to look back at the text and see what else is going on. For instance, when Eiseley touches the web with his pencil point—an event "for which no precedent existed"—the spider, naturally, can make no sense of the pencil phenomenon: "Spider was circumscribed by spider ideas. But why vast and impossible, why a shadow? Does Eiseley mean God, extra-terrestrials? Or something else, something we cannot name or even imagine? Is this the lesson? Now we see that the sense of tale telling or myth at the start of the passage, plus this reference to something vast and unseen, weighs against a simple E. So maybe not God. It is not enough to simply make observations about language use — you must take these observations and use them to construct an argument about the passage. Transform your descriptive thesis into an argument by asking yourself WHY language is used in this way: What kinds of words are used intellectual, elaborate, plain, or vulgar? Why are words being used in this way? Why are sentences long or short? Why might the author be using complicated or simple sentences? What might this type of sentence structure suggest about what the passage is trying to convey? Who is the narrator? What is the narrative voice providing these particular descriptions? Why are we given access to the consciousness of these particular characters? Why not others? What images do you see in the passage? What might they represent? Is there a common theme? Why might the tone of the passage be emotional or detached? Oftentimes the things you do not follow can lead to an important observation, so trust your instincts. Develop an outline of your essay based on your notes, putting together observations that seem related. Delve into details that puzzle you, such as why something is described oddly, or an action by a character that may not make sense.
To prove your argument, you must organize your essay to close examples of how Helen Burns describes God and interpret her description. You must also analyze how her description differs from the status quo in how novel and tell readers why this write matters to our essay of the read.