How to read? Yes... How to Summarize? Yes... How to Anaylze? Not so much

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Sorry about the late post...still waiting for the latest edition to come in the mail!

I realize that this chapter had some useful suggestions; however, they were squeezed between useless repeated comments on how to read? a piece of literature. I felt like I was being told how to summarize a piece not necessarily how to read between the lines. Since when are questions like "What is the situation in the work? Who is the speaker? Who is being addressed?" (55) questions that dig deep into the analysis of the work?  Maybe all those years of being forced to tear apart a piece of literature (not that I don't like analyzing writing- I actually love it) has lead to the skill of answering these mundane questions subconsciously, and it only appears that we jump straight into the hidden meanings of the literature.

Okay, when I first wrote this I was agitated with life and I started to think taking my frustration out on this reading was a little too harsh so here is what I liked about the chapter... Sometimes it is helpful to get back to the basics of reading, writing, and studying literature. I for one always forget what certain literary terms mean and have to resort to my handy dandy dictionary of literary terms to refresh my memory. I guess I should be appreciative that a college text took the liberty of focusing a whole chapter on the basics of close reading. Also, sample essays are always nice to see what the author thinks is an example of A+ work.

 

2 Comments

Carissa Altizer said:

I understand your frustration. The chapters do seem to jump between the obvious and then some of the more difficult parts of writing. I think one good thing to remember is that many college students don't have a firm grasp on the basics of English and literature when they come to college. I have serious respect for any student taking this class who isn't an English major. If I was reading an algebra book in a room full of math majors, I would be really appreciative for the basic skill reminders!

Brooke Kuehn said:

Good point Carissa. After reading a few more chapters, especially the one on point of view, i realize how much i actually do appreciate having the basics in front of me. I almost want to rewrite this blog now lol but oh well at the time that is how i felt.

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