Close Reading Techniques
1. Prereading analysis:
Title: what do you think the piece will be about?
What do you already know about the subject? Can you connect this subject to others like it?
What does the time period in which it was written suggest?
Do you know anything about the author?
Can you discern anything more from the background info. you are given?
2. Highlighting (Do so sparingly, noting the author’s intent and text)
· Main ideas (author’s purpose, occasion, audience, subject)
· Key words (crash words, emotionally laden words)
· Conflicting statements
· Important quotations
· Supporting details (substantiating data)· Patterns/broken patterns (tone changes, sentence length, elements...)· Devices: appeals to ethos, logos, pathos
Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos].
2. Annotating (more about your reactions to the text)
· questions you have
· comments on the text
· synopses of the ideas
· abbreviations of rhetorical techniques (FL-figurative language)
· plan for your responsive essay ( I, B1, B2, B3, C)
· Emotional signals ( ? ! WTH)
· Abbreviations for syntactical changes ( note: short statement among long flowing sentences, punctuation changes, sentence types)
· Symbols to indicate the author’s organization (C=cause / E= effect/ R=reason A=anecdote)
· Create your own system