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How to Do a Critical Reading

In: English and Literature

Submitted By marionb14
Words 4605
Pages 19
Critical Reading
1. Preview. Look “around” the text before you start reading. ...
2. Annotate. Annotating puts you actively and immediately in a "dialogue” with an author and the issues and ideas you encounter in a written text. ...
3. Outline, Summarize, and Analyze. ...
4. Look for repetitions and patterns. ...
5. Contextualize. ...
6. Compare and Contrast.

When you write about literature . . .
Some Tips for Academic Writers
Sentence Style
1. Use simple sentences as rubrics (pointers).
2. Use compound sentences to suggest balance and to present pairs of ideas of equal value.
3. Use complex sentence to emphasize the most important ideas and to subordinate less important ideas.
4. Avoid "empty" sentence frames that say little or restate the obvious.
5. Use present tense when referencing details in a literary work except for passages written in the past tense.
6. Incorporate short, key quoted phrases into analytical sentences.
7. Avoid the use of such words and phrases as "you" and "the reader" that often lead to wordiness.
8. Avoid the phrase, "In conclusion," when opening the concluding paragraph.
9. Avoid gratuitous complements and superlatives.
Paragraph Development
1. Use Pattern 1 paragraph frames for most paragraphs in the body of academic essays.
2. Begin body paragraphs with claims as topic sentences that repeat key concepts from the thesis sentence.
3. Always introduce the speaker, context, and/or significance of block quotations.
4. Always follow block quotations with a response that clarifies the significance of the quoted passage.
5. Avoid lengthy quotations.
6. Use a balanced reference to the readings of a text, including combinations of allusions, paraphrases, summaries, and quotations.
7. Enhance the discussion of the topic sentence with both primary development (explanation of the main idea in the topic sentence) and...

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