As I have prepared for our Investigation #2 paper, it has become evident that there is more to “close reading” than what it initially seems to entail. Our paper requires us to choose one word from a text, form a thesis about it, and then argue our point using, and making reference to, various sections of the text. While this may be very meticulous, I believe it is a great way understand the severity of word choice in writing.
In past “close reading” assignments, I have focused on certain sections and passages to understand meaning of the text. I have looked at how sentences are structured and how paragraphs tie together to make chapters of novels. This form of close reading captures more of a broad understanding of a piece of text. In our Investigation #2, we will be working on even closer reading as we focus on one word from the text. Honing in on one word creates a sense of directness and sharpness to the argument we are making about the text. I think there is a lot of value in writing on one word as we approach texts that are not necessarily easy to understand. Choosing one word forces us to take attention to it as it appears throughout the text, thus connecting ideas and possible themes. In this context, “reading” does not necessarily meaning what it normally means. It will mean having a grasp on the text as a whole, expanding our minds to form several arguments around it, and using one word to tie the argument together.
The tools and technologies used to complete Investigation #2 will be much different than those used to write our Investigation #1 paper. I will use a dictionary to complete this paper for various reasons. First, I will use a dictionary to make sure I have the proper understanding of the word I am choosing. In addition, I will use a dictionary to understand everything about the word that I possibly can (type of word, grammatical usages, other definitions, etc.) I will also use a thesaurus to complete this assignment in order to find synonyms for the word I will choose. It is crucial to take the author’s choice of word (as compared the the synonyms) into consideration! These differences will be important because they can allow us to tease through the writing in a much more intense way (concentrating on why the author chose each word and their specific placements within the text). Consequently, we may be able to create a more thorough argument about the text we are reading than if we did not use these tools to deepen our word knowledge.