When it comes to the teaching of reading, history does repeat itself. A close look at the teaching of reading today shows yet another paradigm shift in which the text is once again the authority in the classroom. The text is a work of art full of meaning, waiting to be read and understood by its readers. Essentially, the reader must be able to dig deep to find meaning and to be able to truly appreciate the text.
I believe that close reading is as the term suggests, a very thorough, purposeful scrutiny of the work of art so that the reader understands the author's intention without directly asking him. In other words, the text carries its own value. It involves the rereading of the text, first to get a sense of what it says, to focus on how it actually works, then to determine its relation to other texts or to the reader's own experiences.
Close reading, as a strategy, is not new! It has been around for decades but under a different label (New Criticism). When we perform a close read we are actually evaluating a text by focusing on the craft and structures contained in the text without the input of the author. As such, our evaluation of a text is not tainted by knowledge of the author's true intent but by how he skillfully presents it in the text., at least that is how I see it!
I may not have done a good job at explaining close reading for what it is, but I made an attempt based on how I understand it from my independent reading. If you think that I need some more help at it, do not hesitate to leave me a comment below!:)
Here are a few of my CLOSE READING resources plus I included some others as well. Simply click the picture for more details!