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A Framework for Teaching Close Reading 

A Framework for Teaching Close Reading
A Framework for Teaching Close Reading

Rita Charon

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date: 22 January 2022

This chapter describes one framework for teaching close reading to groups of learners. It proposes that learners focus on one narrative feature at a time—for example, time, space, voice, and metaphor—over the course of a seminar. For each feature, students read and discuss seminal conceptual writings to situate them in the classical and contemporary critical discourse. The chapter provides capsule summaries of these four narrative features that guide students in their own close reading of texts. The discussion of temporality, for example, includes theological, philosophical, scientific, and literary/narratological writings and the close reading of literary, visual arts, and musical texts that display temporal complexity. In the chapter are described particular teaching sessions in a variety of settings where learners read and respond in writing to short texts that highlight a particular narrative feature. The teaching texts and those written by students are reproduced in the chapter.

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