Close Reading Order of Operations:
- Step 1: Detect a Pattern
- Step 2: Form a Hypothesis
- Step 3: Return to the Text
In your last post, you observed a pattern in Dawn and hypothesized about what this pattern might mean. In this post, you will build on that work by adding in Step 3: Return to the Text.
Close reading is by its nature recursive. In order to pay close enough attention to a particular text to write an analysis of it, you need to read, re-read, and re-read again the text you are writing about (or at least portions of that text). This post is about doing just that. It has three steps.
(1) Detect a Pattern: You may revise or add to the pattern you detected in your post last week (note that I said “revise or add to” not “reuse”). Or you may use a new pattern you’ve discovered since then. Just as before, document that pattern with 3-5 specific instances in your post.
(2) Form a Hypothesis: Just as before, use the pattern you’ve detected to form a hypothesis about one possible meaning of the text. You may revise one of the hypotheses you came up with last week if you think it still applies, or you may come up with a new hypothesis.
(3) Return to the Text: Re-read the examples of the pattern you have identified in their original context. Use the hypothesis you have formulated to inform your re-reading of the text. If you discover that your hypothesis no longer applies, repeat steps 1-2 as necessary until you believe you have arrived at a “valid” interpretation of the text. In your post, report on this process. What is your interpretation of the text? How many times did you re-read your examples? How does your interpretation of the text change upon re-reading? Does the evidence you have gathered prove this interpretation? Does this interpretation move “beyond” facts and observations to make a statement about the text’s meaning? You don’t have to answer all of these questions – they are just listed to get you thinking. What I’m looking for here is a brief reflection on the process of close reading itself.
Your post should look something like this when you’re done:
Pattern: Description of overall pattern. How are all your pieces of evidence below related?
- Description of example if needed. Do you need to explain exactly how/why this is an instance of the pattern you identify above?: “Example 1 from text. Notice how I am typing the exact quote as it appears in the text into my post” (page number where I found the quote).
- Description of example if needed. Do you need to explain exactly how/why this is an instance of the pattern you identify above?: “Example 2 from text” (page number).
- Description of example if needed. Do you need to explain exactly how/why this is an instance of the pattern you identify above?: “Example 3 from text” (page number).
Hypothesis: Brief explanation of hypothesis and how you arrived at this hypothesis from the evidence above.
Reflection on Process of Close Reading (see step 3 above)