In this and the next few articles we focus on some of the fundamentals of close reading.
We explain what it means to think through a text using theory of close reading at the core of the reading process.
Considering the Author’s Purpose In addition to being clear about our own purpose in reading, we must also be clear about the author’s purpose in writing. For example, if you read a historical novel to learn history, you would do well to read further in history books and primary sources before you conclude that what you read in the historical novel was accurate.
Where fact and imagination are blended to achieve a novelist’s purpose, fact and imagination must be separated to achieve the reader’s pursuit of historical fact.
Some of the various purposes for reading include: How you read should be determined in part by what you read.
Reflective readers read a textbook, for example, using a different mindset than they use when reading an article in a newspaper.
Accurately translating words into intended meanings is an analytic, evaluative, and creative set of acts.
Unfortunately, few people are skilled at translation.
Learning to think within one system of knowledge helps us learn to think within other systems.
For example, if in studying botany, we learn that all plants have cells, we should connect this idea to the fact that all animals have cells (which we learned in studying biology).