August 2009 Archives

Too Many Ideas?

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Everyone knows that the point of close reading is helpful to a person's understanding of the story or poem, and if not, reading the second chapter will inform anyone unfamiliar with close reading why it's important. Looking closer, the part that was particularly interesting discusses what happens if a person starts analyzing everything. I know I've done things like this where I go a little bit crazy and just start finding themes, or what I deem important issues in the text, everywhere. However, I soon realize I have too many options and a harder time narrowing it down to one topic I want to write about.  

Luckily, there is a handy set of bulleted points (page 60) that can help someone narrow one's topic or find a better choice for a topic than another. These questions may not point someone to the correct topic, but instead allow the writer to establish a more meaningful topic to discuss in a paper. With such questions like, "What difficult, special, or unusual words does the poem contain? What reference needs explaining?" a person can better identify what is a more rewarding topic for a literary analysis of a work than another. This method of running through a checklist, usually results in a better written paper.

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