write a close reading assignment 1

Read this book “Virgil’s Aeneid” The Norton Anthology: World Literature, Volume A and complete a paper.

At least 600 words


As for helping you with ideas, here is what you do:

Pick your favorite primary text we’ve read so far. If you’re still unclear about what a primary text is, Google it!

Ask yourself, “Why is this my favorite text?” and jot down your answers – be specific. For example, “I liked the part in Equiano’s narrative when he described the slave ship because ….” The “because” part is the important part of the answer. Make a list of notes.

Look over the list and compare your notes about the text you’ve chosen with the question areas from the “General Questions” handout (i.e. did you seem most to focus on the plot, the characters, the setting, or what?).

Looking at the “General Questions” handout, ask yourself the questions under whichever heading you’ve chosen in regard to the particular work (preferably the particular character, episode, or feature of the particular work) you’ve chosen. Start writing down your answers to these questions, ideally in complete sentences, using brief, targeted quotes from the text to support your answers.

Turn your answer(s) to one or more of these “General Questions” into an essay in which you TEACH a FELLOW READER (that is, someone who has also read the work in question, someone who DOES NOT NEED YOU TO SUMMARIZE) about the meaning of the text.

6. Be sure you have a clear thesis statement, if possible (and Googling “literary thesis statement” will help you get a grip on this, but partly, the assignment is a way to help you figure out what a thesis is), and be sure you support that thesis.

Be sure you have some organization for your essay, which, at a minimum, means paragraphs! Ideally, you will be building an argument that has at least a couple of propositions that need some support, and each of these propositions is likely to require writing at least one paragraph.

Be sure you use at least a few concise quotes from the text that support your argument. (Again, Googling “quoting litarery sources” will help you with this if you’re unsure about how that ought to work).


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