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ENGL 100: Visions of the Waste Land

For Professor Gregory Smith -- Fall 2012

Finding Examples of Close Reading

You can see examples of literary scholars reading texts very carefully and writing very short interpretations of those texts.

  1. Go to the journal named The Explicator
  2. Click "Search within this publication" (up above the list of available years)
  3. Enter the work's title or author's name (or really any other keyword you want) in the second box down

Following up on a theme

One great way to build context for your reading is to see what other scholars have said about the themes and characters in your book. Scholars don't always agree with each other, so it's interesting to skim more than one article. Look for how that scholar interprets the work, and how that scholar talks about interpretations done by other scholars.

There are many places to search for good scholarly discussion about literature. We're just going to look at one of these places.

  1. Open JSTOR
  2. Click "Advanced Search" (just under the main search box)
  3. In the "Narrow by" area, select "Article"
  4. In the "Narrow by Discipline and/or Publication Title" area select "Language and Literatue"
  5. Enter search terms into the search box.
    These may be character names, or they may be words that scholars would likely use to describe the theme you're looking for. Remember that you can combine similar terms using uppercase "OR" between each term, so agency OR achievement OR empowerment on one line and "The Sound and the Fury" (in quotation marks) on the next line would bring back articles that talked about how Faulkner's work depicts personal striving.

Oxford English Dictionary

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