Close Reading

Word Length: 500 words minimum; 750 words maximum


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• A close reading asks you to carefully and thoughtfully read an essay, understand what it is communicating, analyze how it is communicating, and to evaluate the effectiveness of that


• You can choose one of the essays listed below to write the Close Reading Assignment about.

• Bruce Mau, “Imagining the Future”, The Walrus


• George Monbiot, “In an age of robots, schools are teaching our children to be redundant”, The Guardian

• Kim Stanley Robinson, ”Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet”, The Guardian

• Kate Harris “Where Not to Travel in 2019 or Ever” The Walrus


1. A summary paragraph of the original essay, with a focus on paraphrasing the essay’s thesis

(main point), main supporting claims, and major evidence, rather than using direct quotes,

though a maximum of 3 direct quotes can be used in your summary paragraph.

2. An analysis paragraph that discusses how convincing the author was in using evidence to

support their thesis and main supporting claims using:

• A topic sentence that clearly outlines your evidence-based opinion about how convincing the author’s argument was;

• Evidence from the essay that supports your opinion about it. What specific language, or

claims, or reasoning in the essay led you to have your opinion? Quote and/or paraphrase


• Analysis of that evidence that explains why you understand it the way you do. If your

opinion were self-evident, you could just turn in the original essay as your proof, but

different people will have different ideas about the words or details you mention. Explain how you arrived at your opinion.


• Failure to follow formatting requirements will result in a loss of up to 5% of overall grade.

• Two paragraphs: one summary and one analytical.

• 500-word count minimum/750-word count maximum.

• Typewritten, 12-point Times New Roman font, DOUBLE-SPACED.

• Title: Close Reading Assignment.

• Format your document according to your chosen citation style (APA, MLA, etc.).

• Cite sources in-text using your chosen citation style (APA, MLA, etc.).

• Include a bibliography with all sources formatted correctly according to your chosen citation style at the end of your assignment

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