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Close Reading. “Anyway , the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet once, they couldn’t, because there aren’t enough skulls !”

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“Anyway, the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet once, they couldn’t, because there aren’t enough skulls!”

—Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), p. 3


Every book has a skeleton hidden between its covers. Your job as an analytic reader is to find it.”

Adler and Van Dore, 1940/1972


X-ray the book”



Use a short passage

Creating a Close Reading


Use a short passage

Re-reading

Creating a Close Reading


Use a short passage

Re-reading

“Read with a pencil”

Creating a Close Reading


Use a short passage

Re-reading

“Read with a pencil”

Text-dependent questions

Creating a Close Reading


Use a short passage

Re-reading

“Read with a pencil”

Text-dependent questions

Give students the chance to struggle a bit

Creating a Close Reading


Read like a detective, write like a reporter.”


A Close Reading of

“Salvador, Late or Early”

(Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, 1991)


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