CLOSE READING. An introduction to reading for Eng. 132 Adapted from Jack Lynch – Rutgers University by Adam Hazlett - HFCC. Nothing will make an English professor’s day like a student who CLOSELY ENGAGES THE LANGUAGE OF THE TEXT
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An introduction to reading for Eng. 132
Adapted from Jack Lynch – Rutgers University by Adam Hazlett - HFCC
Nothing will make an English professor’s day like a student who CLOSELY ENGAGES THE LANGUAGE OF THE TEXT
That means reading every word: it's not enough to have a vague sense of the plot. Maybe that sounds obvious, but few people pay serious attention to the words that make up every work of literature. Remember, English papers aren't about the real world; they're about representations of the world in language. Words are all we have to work with, and you have to pay attention to them.
A text is never as simple as one believes it to be. Often uninitiated readers will assume a writer does something in a story simply because he or she wanted to.
Nothing is ever placed in a text by accident. Even if it is, it has potential to be something greater!!!
Often a student will see the moves made in texts and ask, “If he/she meant X in their story, why didn’t they just come out and say it?”
The short answer to this is…because if he/she did there would be no pleasure in reading
You don’t watch CSI because you KNOW who the killer is and you don’t spend hours playing video games because you KNOW the end of the story…the joy is in the discovery.
Usually the question, “Why did he/she do that in the story?” is a good start.
This should not be the end though…you should seek to answer that question and in your answer you will have found your thesis
If you analyze a story like “Cinderella” you begin to see something deeper.
Why does Cinderella have to wait on the Prince to be “saved”?
Couldn’t she just do it herself?
Isn’t the glass slipper something both fragile and feminine?
DO NOT TAKE ANY TEXT AT FACE VALUE… There is always something deeper or at least the potential of depth.
Remember, a close reading is a deep analysis of the WORDS within a story and how those WORDS interact with character, author, reader and world.