Meaning+of+close+reading - Jason J. Gulya Expository...

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Jason J. Gulya Expository Writing “Close Reading” For most people, “close reading” requires a process of inquiry that is predictable only in its unpredictability. Often, it involves the reader’s movement from asking simple, direct questions to asking complicated, abstract ones. The longer you look at a passage, and think about it critically, the more it will open up to you and, magically, what was previously inaccessible will now seem plausible, or even obvious. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about close reading: “In literary criticism , close reading describes the careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text. Such a reading places great emphasis on the particular over the general, paying close attention to individual words, syntax, and the order in which sentences and ideas unfold as they are read.” I will, of course, not let Wikipedia stand unchallenged. Rather than emphasizing the “particular over the general,” a compelling close reading asks questions like “how does the particular complicate the general?” or, vice versa, “how does the general complicate the particular?”
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Fall '07 term at Rutgers.

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Meaning+of+close+reading - Jason J. Gulya Expository...

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