Close Reading of a Primary Source

Assignment Close Reading of a Primary Source

The purposes of this assignment are to use critical thinking strategies to closely analyze a literary
text and to use critical writing skills to optimally present your analysis. You will be evaluated on
the quality of your analysis as well as organization, grammar, and formatting. Please follow the
guidelines below.

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1. Choose ONE passage from one of the first two stories: “A White Heron”; “Good Country
People”. You may select whichever passage intrigues you the
most, but the passage should be between .5 to 1.5 pages in length.

2. Write an introductory paragraph. This paragraph should establish the context of your
analysis by introducing the literary work, identifying the passage of analysis, and
explaining the theme or topic of your analysis.

3. Write 2-3 paragraphs analyzing your chosen passage.

Consider
(1) Meaning: what symbols, themes, morals, topics, etc. are used and why are they important?
(2)Emotion/Feeling: What feelings does your passage evoke? What emotion might it be
trying to evoke?
(3) Construction: How does your passage create its meaning or emotion?
What literary devices are used and to what effect?

*You do not need to cover everything listed here; some points may not be
relevant to your passage or reading.

4. Write 1 paragraph relating your passage analysis to the topic/theme in the work as a
whole. For example, if your analysis focuses on the function of nature in a particular
passage, how does the function of nature in that passage influence or relate to the
meaning of nature within the entire story?

5. Write a conclusion that distills the main point(s) of your analysis and considers the
importance of your analysis to the major themes of the text. Why does your analysis
matter?

6. Include a works cited entry for the primary text and a word count; these do not need to be
on separate page—just a few lines down from your conclusion.

**Be sure to include quotations. Do not summarize the story, and do not use first person or
second person pronouns.

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