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Close_Reading_a_Text_ - Performing a Close Reading...

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Performing a Close Reading Writing about a story or novel can be difficult because fiction is generally very complex and  usually includes several points or themes. To discover these interwoven meanings, you must  read the work closely. Below are three techniques for reading fiction actively and critically.  Close reading takes more time than quick, superficial reading, but doing a close reading will  save you from a lot of frustration and anxiety when you begin to develop your thesis. A. Close Reading Literature Close reading may seem like a foreign and unfamiliar approach to analyzing a piece of text.  However, it can often yield insights that will help you to create a unique paper developed from  your own interpretation of the text. To analyze the work effectively, it is useful to concentrate on  specific components of literature used to build and reveal the themes in the work. This process  will help you explain how a passage relates to central themes in the text allowing you to reach an  intelligent and creative thesis for a literary analysis. First, choose a passage (or a series of passages) that intrigues you. Read the passage several  times, underline words and phrases that grab your attention. Then think about why you are  drawn to the passage. Here are some central elements in literature that will help you think about  the text critically. What does the passage(s) say about: 1) Context : Although all you need is the text in front of you to formulate your thesis,  knowing the literary conventions of the time the work was written in might help you  identify why the particular passage caught your attention. Does it depart from  conventions? Or does it perfect or expand existing conventions? How and why? What 
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