Reading a text is the first and one of the most important steps in writing an effective literary analysis essay. By reading closely, you actively involve yourself in the text and are better able to understand, remember and absorb the work. Close reading takes more time and mental effort than reading for plot but is also far more rewarding and will help tremendously when developing a theme and a thesis for an essay.
Options for close reading strategies include:
Reading a text multiple times:
Highlighting/Underlining and Annotating the text:
handy response when your professor asks, "Are there
any questions about the reading?"
Here are a couple of sample journal pages to help you get started!
Remember: You do not have to follow all of these steps; they are simply options. Do what works best for you!
Don't hate. Appreciate.
"I've always loved to read, but when it comes to reading and analyzing an assigned text, I can be grouchy. If I don't find it interesting, I fight through the first reading. I can't stop asking why - why did the author write this, why did this or that happen, why do I have to read this? What helps me is to block out the 'why's' - stop analyzing, just let the first impression sink in. After the first reading, the second is usually more enjoyable because I know what's going to happen, and can start figuring out the 'why's' of the text." - Cassie