suggestions for resources and activities

  • This page gives advice and tips on how to write a good close-reading essay, including several books on close-reading and essay-writing.




The Close-Reading Essay

Here are some suggestions for resources and activities to help you write a good close-reading essay:

  • Identify areas of concern or weakness in your essay-writing, and use the “Learning Resources” section of this site to address them
    • attending a workshop on ‘Reading and Writing at University’
    • doing an online grammar exercise
    • going to the Learning Co-op
    • working through exercises on reading and writing at the UniLearning website
  • Read or view all set texts carefully, at least twice, and identify particularly rich or interesting passages
  • Read about close-reading and how to write close-reading essays: some suggested books (all available from UOW library, either as ebooks or as print books in Short Loans) are:
  • On close reading:
    • Celena Kusch, ‘Close Reading: words and forms’, chapter 2 in Literary Analysis: The Basics (2016)
    • Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey, Close Reading and Writing from Sources (2014)
    • Terry Eagleton, How to Read Literature (2012)
    • Terry Eagleton, How to Read a Poem (2007)
    • Annette Federico, Engagements with Close Reading (2016)
    • Thomas Newkirk, The Art of Slow Reading: Six Time-Honored Practices for Engagement (2012)
    • Mariolina Rizzi Salvatori and Patricia Donahue, The Elements (and Pleasures) of Difficulty (2005)
    • Annette Federico, Engagements with Close Reading (2015)
  • On essay-writing:
    • Helen Sword, Stylish Academic Writing (2014)
    • Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/ I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (2013)
    • Wayne Booth et al, The Craft of Research (2008)
  • A step-by-step guide to writing a close-reading essay without a question can be found here, at the University of Guelph’s website.