Sylvie T.

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Up close and personal: how to prepare for a close reading paper

Posted by Sylvie T. on 12/16/20 12:00 PM

Close reading? Shouldn’t we already be reading “closely” for class? Correct! But the term “close reading” also describes a very specific type of literary inquiry in which one pays careful, prolonged attention to a small chunk of text (or art object) in order to produce an argument about that text and how it works. Close reading is the bread-and-butter of many fields in the humanities and beyond. English majors close read poems and novels, art history majors close “read” paintings and sculptures, law majors close read legal documents, history majors close read primary sources, politics majors close read policy briefs—the list goes on!

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