Close reading is a way of reading for meaning. The reader carefully analyzes a passage, article, or other written work to focus on the details of a text. Often close reading is done with a pencil (or stylus) in hand.
Close reading is reading like a detective. When you close-read, you observe facts and details about the text. During this process, you uncover layers of meaning that can lead to deep comprehension. This can include not just meaning based upon the words, but it can embrace larger themes or ideas implied by the text and the strategies used by an author to communicate meaning.
Good writing always starts with careful reading, and it applies to a variety of academic situations Close reading can ...
Example: If the writer is an MD and the item you are reading is an article from NEJM, chances are the author is looking to communicate the results of his/her own research with his peers and the greater medical community.
Example: If the writer is a licensed professional counselor writing a blog post for Psychology Today, chances are s/he is trying to reach peers and colleagues for practical, not scholarly, purposes.
Example: If the author is not acknowledged, but the item you are reading is a webpage on acupuncture from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, you know that the intended audience is either consumers or providers, and the purpose of the page is to provide a starting point for informational purposes.
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