Ch. 2: Close Reading: More Planning Equals Less Panic...

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This chapter would have been helpful to me last semester in Introduction to Literature with Dr. Arnzen.  My class (which many of you may remember) was told to write an explicative essay on an Emily Dickenson poem.  When I began writing, it felt very difficult to write a lengthy paper on a short poem without just summarizing the poem or writing about "how it made me feel."  Most of the information that Roberts wrote in "Close Reading" was review, but being reminded of all the simple steps writers use when faced with a much larger project was helpful to me.  Sometimes I panic when I'm given a long assignment, so breaking it up into steps outside of the simple knowledge to "write a catchy thesis and intro" helps me to focus while creating a clearer, finished product. 

The demonstrative essay on Tom Hardy's "The Man He Killed" gave me a closer inspection of an already powerful poem.  From my first few readings, I never thought that killing "his foe" was a representation of killing himself.  While I understood the significance of the pointlessness of war, I never took it a step farther to interpret that the narrator may have felt like he committed suicide on the battlefield that day when he killed a man so much like himself for no good reason other than war.  Passage 4 makes a very powerful statement.



Brooke Kuehn said:

I agree. Sometimes it is helpful to get back to the basics and take critical reading one step at a time. When i first read ch. 2 i thought it was too basic and a bit of a waste. However, i now see how it was actually helpful and a ch that i may reread at times when i need to refresh my memory on how to go about beginning a close reading assignment.

Yes, because you folks aren't beginners, you're going to encounter things that you already know, but if you can make a mental note and come back to some of these suggestions the next time you're planning a big writing project, then you'll probably gain quite a lot from the experience.

Brooke Kuehn said:

Jerz, I realize what you mean after writing the draft for paper 1. Unfortunately, i had to wait a few weeks for my book to come in the mail so i could not read chapter 1 until a few days ago. I wish i would have read it earlier because i really could have used the book's tips, especially about the star graph.

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