Discursive Close Reading

For your Second Paper, you will write a thesis-focused close reading of a selection of a poem from the The Tempest that is not to exceed 10-14 lines. As with the last paper, you may refer to other areas of a larger poem, and now with this paper you may briefly reference a relevant historical or cultural context. However, by far the greatest emphasis in this paper should be on making a central claim attentive to literary language and both explicit and implied meanings, and supporting the development of that central claim. this paper is that with this paper, rather than starting with a close reading exercise, you will be starting with a paper proposal that will ask you to articulate a central claim, and show how that works with a sample close reading. As always, you should not summarize the work nor should you attempt to demonstrate reading comprehension on the page. Rather, you should come to these papers with your central claim and the work’s meaning already in mind from the get go. Your reading should not enumerate what each line means (e.g. the first part means this, then this next part means this, etc.), but rather should focus on your central idea about the poem’s meaning. This means that the logic of your own central idea, rather than the chronology of the work, should be in the driver’s seat.

In the Second Paper, it is crucially important that you advance the development of your central claim through paragraph-level claims that are strong, clear, and precise anchored by topic sentences and explored with insightful, nuanced close reading. At all times, your readings should pay close attention to the meanings and nuances of literary language. Rather than referencing compositional categories (e.g. “word choice,” “diction,” “imagery,” etc.), you should say specifically what figurative features, patterns, and structures you are actually referencing, and analyze those directly. If something is ambiguous, has multiple meanings, or is uncertain, then please do discuss that!

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