Finding the Right Book for a Close Reading

A CLOSE READING is an assignment which is more than a simple book report.

A Close Reading cannot be done on a book with an extremely simple, straight-forward story.

A Close Reading can be done on a book filled with subtext and metaphors.

A Close Reading may cover only a section of a book, not the entire book.

A Close Reading reflects the reader’s experience and knowledge.


The Harvard Writing Center says:

“The process of writing an essay usually begins with the close reading of a text. Of course, the writer’s personal experience may occasionally come into the essay, and all essays depend on the writer’s own observations and knowledge.”

They suggest the reader “annotate the text.” This is where a nice inexpensive paperback version of a book comes in handy. Your marked up copy becomes an interesting addition to your bookshelf.

Read more from Harvard here:

This resource  by Beth Burke suggests three readings of the piece being analyzed:

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For a good resource on Close Reading go to:


BUT, but, but . . . how do I find a good book?

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To help you find the find book, check out


Today’s Assignment: Find the right book for a close reading.