24 Doing a Close Reading

24 Doing a Close Reading - Doing a Close Reading* 1. Treat...

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Doing a Close Reading* 1. Treat the passage as a complete, stand-alone unit (i.e., you may look out from the text, finding things that the text refers to and bringing in that information, but you should not apply things external to the text in upon it, like psychological analysis of the author’s state of mind, or cultural “periodisms” that aren’t referred to by the story’s content, etc.). Read it a few times, at least once aloud. Concentrate on all its details and assume that ALL THE WORDS are significant. 2. Determine the meanings of words and references. Also, note and verify interesting connotations of words. It is extremely helpful to consult the Oxford English Dictionary (found in HBLL’s 5 th floor reference area). 3. Examine the LANGUAGE of the passage: a) Diction or word choice: Is the language formal, colloquial, simple, unusual, etc.? b) Connotations : Look for words that may have more than one meaning (again, dictionaries are awfully helpful). How might the several meanings affect the reading of the text? What moods/attitudes are associated with the words used? What senses do they appeal to? c) Allusions : Can you identify anything outside the paragraph that might be referred to (i.e., events or people from history, mythological stories or figures, religious stories, other works of literature)? It might be helpful to consider here the time in which the story was written.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course ENG 293 taught by Professor Brianroberts during the Spring '11 term at BYU.

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24 Doing a Close Reading - Doing a Close Reading* 1. Treat...

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