February 29, 2008 Archives
Choose a passage from any literary reading we have done. It can be a whole short poem, a few paragraphs in a story or a few lines of dialog or a speech in a play.
Note: If you get an A or a B on this
exercise, you do not need to revise your close reading workbook. I will
just drop the zero from my gradebook. (You'll have proved you can do it!)
Demonstrate your ability to read the text closely
- not by pharaphrasing it line by line
- not by posting wild ideas about what the text "could" mean
- not by jotting down the thoughts that popped into your head as you read
- not by writing about something else (a song or movie) on a similar theme
- demonstrate (by quoting significant lines) how the passage you chose is part of a web of meanings embedded into the text (that is, if a poem mentions a bird, quote several other passages in the poem that refer to freedom, or power, or nervousness, or rudeness, or stupidity, or some other meaning that the word "bird" might have)
- demonstrate (by making claims supported by textual evidence) that the passage you chose offers a consistent, coherent, plausible way of interpreting the whole text. (It's not possible to prove that yours is the only way or the best of all possible ways.)
Begin with a thesis.