Close Reading

In “A Short Guide to Close Reading for Literary Analysis,” the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writing Center, describes “close reading” as “a process of finding as much information as you can in order to form as many questions as you can.”  If we are relatively new to literary analysis, we may wonder what sort of information we should be trying to find.  No worries.  The University of Portland’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Close Reading,” gets us started with a list of ten “Things to Look for in Close Reading” (for example, word choice, tone, imagery)  Moving from information to interrogation, Professor Wheeler at Carson-Newman University provides examples of the kinds of questions we might ask in his “Close Reading of a Literary Passage.”      Finally, Harvard and the University of Wisconsin-Madison provide illustrations of applying close reading to texts: in the case of Harvard, a prose passage by Loren Eisley; in the case of Madison, a poem by Robert Frost):

Last revised on January 25, 2018.