I feel that my first post was, overall, not a terrible first attempt but could use some refining. The general diction is something I found that I did well. It was more entertaining to read than I expected initially and I feel that I can see at least a small amount of my own stylistic flair in the essay. The points presented in my essay are well explained with both evidence and my own interpretation. The writing flows well between points and paragraphs, which helped it hold my interest rather than being a series of bullet points that were laid out.
While I feel that my overall essay was not bad, there are a few glaring errors in my essay. The main errors can be clearly seen in the thesis: the points established in the thesis are unclear nor do they don’t match up with the body paragraph. The sentence quoted ties into the theme I go on to talk about but without the clear thesis statement, it just seems like a random quote put in the essay an attempt to build credibility. The conclusion also felt rather lack luster in terms of ending the paper, but maybe I am being too critical as it was still functional.
The errors in the thesis are the most egregious of the problems found in my essay. They make the entirety of the essay feel unfocused and a layer of confusion. I go from saying that the author uses “a multitude of other tricks” and then go on to discuss how “the narrator interrupts the flow of the description of Omelas.” This really hurts the credibility of the argument and it made me (the reader) stop and say “wait, what?” The reader should be able to read the thesis and identify that I will be talking about the interruptions in narration and hazy imagery of the world outside of Omelas that I go on to detail in my body paragraphs.
Errors in the thesis, though pretty horrendous, are fairly simple to fix. I have to be clear and concise about what the essay will discuss. I know this is superficially going against the idea of surprise discussed Paul Graham’s essay, but there is still a fair amount of surprise that can be garnered from a thesis while still laying out the skeleton of the argument. Maybe outlining my general essay would help with both clarity and creativity.
The basic goal of close reading is simple: to find patterns within a text that relate to reality. This matters as it allows us, the readers, to take text and view real world problems in a different perspective. Readers can gain new insights into issues that they may not to otherwise be able to gather in other discussions. Close reading unlocks a text through its nuances and promotes discussions of its central ideas, themes, or issues.