Teaching Close Reading

Each year, one of our most popular lightning lunches is on the topic of teaching close reading. Reading, after all, is at the heart of a liberal arts education. Teaching students to read carefully and critically–to discern arguments, analyze literature, assess evidence, and generally to make meaning of the text before you–is necessarily a part of what many of us will do in the classroom. Properly understood, teaching close reading is intricately connected to the ways we use writing and discussion in the classroom. At the same time, some concrete tools can be helpful. Below, we offer a series of documents shared by faculty during recent lunch discussion and follow-up workshops. (If you have any handouts you would be willing to share, please send them along.)

Adhaar Desai shares three handouts he uses in his Introduction to Literary Studies (Lit 103) course: Close Reading Instructions, a Reading Poetry Worksheet, and Reading Response Guidelines.

Brooke Jude shares two handouts focused on reading scientific papers: a “how to” guide to approaching primary papers and a General Worksheet on Reading.