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How to Write a Close Reading Essay | Synonym

Close reading sometimes feels like over-analyzing, but don't worry. Close reading is a process of finding as much information as you can in order form to as many questions as you can. When it is time to write your paper and formalize your close reading, you will sort through your work to figure out what is most convincing and helpful to the argument you hope to make and, conversely, what seems like a stretch. This guide imagines you are sitting down to read a text for the first time on your way to developing an argument about a text and writing a paper. To give one example of how to do this, we will read the poem "Design" by famous American poet Robert Frost and attend to four major components of literary texts: subject, form, word choice (diction), and theme.

(Include your selected passage in your paper, but do not count it as part of the total length.) A sample close reading essay is available online.

How to Close a Research Paper | Essay Tips

To explicate comes from the Latin explicare, to unfold, to fold out, or to make clear the meaning of. When you close read, you observe facts and details about the text. Your aim is to notice all striking features of the text, including rhetorical features, structural elements, cultural references or allusions. A close reading should be more than a list of devices, though. The essay should move from observation of particular facts and details to a conclusion, or interpretation, based on those observations. What do these data add up to mean?2

Throughout this essay Independence Day will be referred to as ID and Close Encounters will be referred to as CE.

The following exercise uses one of William Shakespeare’s sonnets (#116) as an example. This close read process can also be used on many different verse forms. This resource first presents the entire sonnet and then presents a close reading of the poem below. Read the sonnet a few times to get a feel for it and then move down to the close reading.

How to Close a Scholarship Essay ..

To do a close reading, you choose a specific passage and analyze it in fine detail, as if with a magnifying glass. You then comment on points of style and on your reactions as a reader. Close reading is important because it is the building block for larger analysis. Your thoughts evolve not from someone else's truth about the reading, but from your own observations. The more closely you can observe, the more original and exact your ideas will be. To begin your close reading, ask yourself several specific questions about the passage. The following questions are not a formula, but a starting point for your own thoughts. When you arrive at some answers, you are ready to organize and write. You should organize your close reading like any other kind of essay, paragraph by paragraph, but you can arrange it any way you like.

Close Reading Essay Examples - Sample Essays

1The Literary Link. Ed. Janice E. Patten. June 2, 1998. San Jose State University Web Site. 17 Sept. 2003. .
2Patricia Kain, "How to Do a Close Reading," 1998. . 17 Sept. 2003.
3Diane Hacker. The Bedford Handbook for Writers, 3rd. ed. Boson: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1991. 91.

Analysing The Use Of Open And Closed Questions Philosophy Essay

The process of close reading should produce a lot of questions. It is when you begin to answer these questions that you are ready to participate thoughtfully in class discussion or write a literary analysis paper that makes the most of your close reading work.


We can guess right away that Frost's disruption of the usual purpose of the sestet has something to do with his disruption of its rhyme scheme. Looking even more closely at the text will help us refine our observations and guesses.

Close Analysis Paper - by Hello13 - Anti Essays

This synthesis will examine the motion picture Good Will Hunting and an essay by an author Bell Hooks entitled Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education....