Close reading
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Close Reading . Mr. Ortiz August 2013. What is close reading?. Close reading is a way of looking at text that helps us to understand it. It requires us to looking closely at the text and describe it in detail.

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Close Reading

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Close reading

Close Reading

Mr. Ortiz

August 2013


What is close reading

What is close reading?

  • Close reading is a way of looking at text that helps us to understand it.

  • It requires us to looking closely at the text and describe it in detail.

  • It’s like looking at a painting and commenting on the different elements of the painting.


What do you notice when you look at this painting

What do you notice when you look at this painting?


What should you do when you close read

What should you do when you close read?

  • Look out for interesting/difficult vocabulary

  • Pay attention to the structure of sentences

  • Make connections between words, phrases/clauses, sentences, and paragraphs

  • Use SOAPSTone method

  • “Good Readers” strategies


Vocabulary and close reading

Vocabulary and close reading

  • Don’t just skip words you don’t know.

    • Use context clues to help you.

    • Use a dictionary if possible.

  • Be aware of technical or scientific words.

  • The connotation of words is as important as the denotation!


How does vocabulary impact these sentences

How does vocabulary impact these sentences?

  • “When observing the superficial characteristics of the automobile, the ivory hue is distinct,” vs. “When looking at the car, the white color stands out.”

  • “The coronal disk of a G2-type red dwarf star can be radioimaged with a infrared telespectrometer.”

  • “cheap” vs. “frugal”; “curious” vs. “nosey”

  • “The puppy looked up at me with moist, brown eyes filled with innocence and hope.”


Sentence structure and close reading

Sentence structure and close reading

  • Sentences that are long or complicated (or both) are more difficult to read and understand.

    “The wild swings in weather that are expected to become commonplace as the planet gets warmer -- more frequent and severe droughts, followed by drenching rains -- change ecosystems in a way that awaken and expedite the transmission of once dormant diseases.”

    This sentence is both relatively long (40 words) and complicated. How can we tackle this sentence?


Sentence structure and close reading1

Sentence structure and close reading

  • First, slow down; Even strong readers need to take more time when they read complex texts.

  • Re-read; Don’t go past a sentence until you feel comfortable with its basic meaning.

  • Paraphrase; if you could rewrite it in your own words, you’re ready to move on (good annotating strategy).

  • Chunk the text; break sentences down into shorter parts and learn to “ignore” less important information.


What should you look for when you close read

What should you look for when you close read?

  • SOAPSTone

    • Speaker: who is the writer?

    • Occasion: what made them write this?

    • Audience: who is the writer addressing?

    • Purpose: what is she/he trying to do?

    • Subject: what is the topic? (summary)

    • Tone: how does the author feel about the topic? How do you feel about it?


Things good readers do

“Things Good Readers Do…”

  • Preview – what can I tell just be looking at the text?

  • Question – what do I know/need to know?

  • Predict – what do I think comes next?

  • Infer – what is the text “saying without saying?”

  • Connect – what does this have to do with anything else?

  • Evaluate – what have I gotten out of this text?

  • Summarize – how would I briefly paraphrase the text?


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