Essay 1 -(4 page) assignments (4page double-spaced ) will ask you to conduct a close reading of at least one text in context, in which you analyze that text based on your own interpretation
Essay 1 -(4 page) assignments (4page double-spaced ) will ask you to conduct a close reading of at least one text in context, in which you analyze that text based on your own interpretation + thesis-driven argument. Lastly, while you are not required to cite secondary sources in your essays, doing so can bolster your essay’s argumentation, and is thus recommended.
Write a Close Reading
If you have not been assigned a passage or poem, then you must select a text and a specific passage.
Limit your selection to a paragraph or two at the most. In some cases, a sentence or two (or a few lines, if you are dealing with a poem) will be sufficient. Keep in mind that literature (and especially poetry) can be very dense. You will be surprised at how much you can glean from a short section – and how easily you can be overwhelmed by selecting a section that is too long.
Look for unusual or repetitive images or themes and passages with rich imagery or language.
Also pay particular attention to passages that relate to central characters or definitions of keywords; you may decide to focus on one section and how it helps you understand a character, relationship, issue, or idea.
Take notes as you read. Mark anything that seems relevant or interesting to you – even if you are unsure why a particular section of the text stands out.
Ask yourself: HOW is language and/or argument being used? Take notes about your observations of the passage, even if these observations seem simplistic or self-evident. Also pay attention to how language use changes over the course of your passage. For example, if the same word appears at the beginning and end, does it mean different things in both places? Does the author’s tone or attitude change?
After you have read the entire text, you can return to these sections to look for repeated patterns, themes, or words. Often, a close reading will focus on one example of a theme or pattern to study the significance of this theme or pattern more in depth.