Close Reading

This being the first essay of the semester I had a mindset that this would be the writing that I saw the least amount of change in. It was highlighting the writing process that I always struggled and avoided. I always avoided finding textual evidence and analyzing; in fear that it was wrong and readers would not approve of the text chosen. I had taken so many english courses in my life and every instructor told me a different way to go about writing a paper, I could never find the one that worked for me, until this essay. I had always gone in order of writing a draft, intro through conclusion and three supporting paragraphs. This was the typical way taught in high school but soon in college I found out that there was no “right way”.   The length and process depended on each assignment. The goal of this essay was to analyze different pieces of text from The Tempest and form a strong argument. The argument came last after having enough evidence to form a claim. We began by reading this text and simply finding text that had struck us and to reflect on it, soon we were taught how to introduce the text by point out what readers should look for in the preceding text. Next we analyzed the piece by pulling examples from that piece and analyzing its purpose. This was a process that made the creation of an essay and argument incredibly easy, we had found various textual evidence. By analyzing each others close reading assignments in class we soon found that each of our hopeful arguments were very similar and the different approaches brought us closer to a conclusion. After five close reading process assignments it was time to take what we analyzed and form an argument; forming transitions, an introduction and conclusion.

This process was one that I have never used before and made me feel much more confident in my writing as well as my ability to close read. I have always struggled with making one thought more concise and that did reflect in parts of my writing in this essay but less than expected. By finding and analyzing text before forming an argument I found it more effective and easier to form a strong argument. This text seemed quite difficult to me at first but turned out to be eye opening and strengthened my ability to form an argument and concise essay.

This problem was chosen because the vast amount of evidence and it was a clear problem to identify and approach. I chose a variety of textual evidence that identified Prospero in the peak of his control and wrath. The argument was clear, and Prospero needed complete control over the island to guarantee he wouldn’t lose power, therefore reliving his past. Look for the fluent argument and relation between each textual piece of evidence and the argument at hand.

Close reading was a clear first essay, we learned how to find a problem in the text individually and thus forth began finding textual evidence of this problem. We did not state a claim first but instead  focussed on the vague problem then close read to find a deeper understanding. By approaching this essay in this way I learned to create close readings first and finishing with a claim. The claim becomes stronger and more effective when the close reading is finished and analyzed.

My struggles as a thinker and a writer began by first creating an introduction. Like mentioned before I was taught to work in a five paragraph mindset, working into to conclusion, I then deleted the introduction and waited to write it when I finished close reading. This then created a stronger introduction because I was able to fully analyze the text without a premature claim.

To my surprise I felt growth in this essay, not necessarily in my writing but in my approach. The approach was different from all other essays created and carried over to my next five essays in the semester. By creating close reading there is a stronger claim being created and a stronger analysis of the quote for as it is rather than a premature claim. This  created a strong mindset for me as a writer and thinker because I was forced to find a problem with a text that originally I would not find flaws. Who would want to find flaws in characters and plots of William Shakespeare’s work? It was the first time going out of my comfort zone with a piece of text, by analyzing,  finding a problem  then a motive to the problem.

 Justice Close Reading 1

Corrinne Justice Draft 2 ENG 305