Determine the denotative and connotative meanings of words. Note any interesting connotations of words.

Reading homework help

Close reading

A close reading is a type of analysis of a text. In a close reading we will interpret the text based on its content and form.

Here are your steps to do a close reading:

· Find a paragraph or two depending on length in If on a winter’s night a traveler.

· Read it a few times, at least once aloud.

· Make sure you understand the literal events in the passage.

· Do you know who is narrating? What is the point of view?

· Determine the denotative and connotative meanings of words. Note any interesting connotations of words.

· Note the images. What senses do they appeal to?

· What do the images and motifs symbolize? Are there any metaphors in the passage?

· Relate all of these details to possible themes that are both explicitly and implicitly evoked by the passage.

· Based on all of this information and observation, construct a thesis that ties the details together. Also, make sure that the passage does not contradict your argument.

Writing your close reading

· The paper should begin with a closely argued thesis.

· The point is to relate all of the relevant details to that thesis. However, you must be careful that you do not ignore details that contradict your thesis; if you find these, this means that you need to re-evaluate your thesis.

· Note that the order of the evidence presented should not follow the order of the passage being discussed. Rather, the order of the evidence depends on how it relates to your central argument.

· The body of the paper presents relevant textual evidence in a meaningful order. Avoid being overly mechanical in the organization of your paper. Don’t write one paragraph on diction, one on sound, one on metaphor, etc. Try to bring these observations together on the same words or phrases together. Organize the paragraphs around issues of meaning rather than of technique.

· Make sure you don’t read so closely that you transform a clear passage into a bundle of nonsense.

To reiterate:

· Read the passage several times. Make sure you know the general meaning of passage

· Underline all important words. Note any connotations here:

· Note all images, motifs, symbols, metaphors, similes, etc.

· Examine the structure. What are the themes and ideas? Are there any climaxes or turning points?

· Based on all of your information and observations, construct a thesis that ties all the details together. Do not go beyond the details and make sure the information in the text does not contradict your argument.

You will upload the following to Canvas. Your document should have two parts. The first part will contain the answers to or notes from the “Here are your steps to do a close reading” section. After that, you will put the paper. Make sure you underline the thesis.


Literal content (1 point) Briefly describe the skeletal contents of the passage in one or two sentences. Answer the journalist’s questions (Who? What? When? Where? Why?) in order to establish character/s, plot, and setting as it relates to this passage.

Word Analysis (2.5 points) Are there any repetitions in this passage? What can be the reason for repetitions? Are there any words that sound strange to you? Is there a word that means more than one thing? Can they be symbols or metaphors for something else? Close read at least two words from the passage in terms of different usage/symbols/metaphors. Is there a significant sound or rhythm in the passage? Is there rhyme? If there are, what can be the reason why the author/poet used these? (Treat each word as important. Look up any words you do not know, that you think are used in unfamiliar ways, or that might have more than one meaning. Use (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Passage tone analysis (0.5 points) What is the tone of the passage? How does it elucidate the entire passage? Is the tone one of irony? Sentimental? Serious? Humorous? Ironic?

Narrator’s voice analysis (0.5 point) What is the speaker’s (as distinct from the narrator’s and author’s) attitude towards his or her subject and hearers? How is this reflected in the tone? What does the passage reveal about the speaker? Who is the narrator? What is the relationship between the narrator and the speaker? Is there more than one speaker?

Originality, coherence, completeness, spelling (0.5 points) Do you have any other original ideas? Write your narrative in the form of a coherent paragraph(s) in 500-words, and make sure to spell-check.

Where can I get more information? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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