Read the text / extract a few times
- Become familiar with the who, what, why and how of it
Determine word meanings
- What words don’t you know?
- What word classes are they?
- Can you look at the words around them to get their meaning?
Examine the structure
- How is it presenting its information?
- How is it developing its ideas / narrative?
Acquire a feel for the rhythm
- How is punctuation being used?
- What sentence types are being used?
- How do these affect the pace, the detail and the complexity?
Examine the syntax
- What is the word order like?
- How might this be important?
- How is this effective?
Identify textual context
- Who wrote it?
- When was it written?
- Why was it written?
Examine the tone and narrative voice
- Perspective and tense
- Atmosphere and mood
Visualize the image (what is the effect of any figurative language)
- What is being described?
- How does this come alive on the page and in your mind?
- What are the keywords in the description?
- SOAPMAPS (Simile, Onomatopoeia, Adjective, Personification, Metaphor, Adverb, Pathetic Fallacy, Senses)
- Is the author / narrator being straightforward?
- Or, do they mean the opposite of what they say?
- Is it deliberately shocking?
- Why might that be?
Notice rhetorical devices (what / how is it trying to persuade you?)
- FAIRER APOSTLE (Fact, Alliteration, Imperatives, Rhetorical Questions, Exaggeration, Repetition, Anecdotes, Personal Pronouns, Opinions, Statistics, Triples, Emotive Language)
Determine the theme
- What is it about?
- What single word would you use to summarise it?
- What is not being said?
Construct a thesis
- Come up with your own thoughts or theory
Content of this page adapted from: literacyacrossdisciplines.cmswiki.wikispaces.net