The topic is The Crucible and how Abigail Williams is to blame for the Salem witch trials.
First, you will determine which text it is that you’d like to analyze. Your teacher might provide a specific text or set of texts to choose from, or they may allow you to choose your own.
1) If your teacher assigns a specific text, follow the steps in the next section.
2) If your teacher assigns a set of texts to choose from, read each of them once. Then,
narrow it down by asking yourself,
a. Which texts were most striking or curious? Which raised the most questions for
you as a reader?
b. How do the texts differ from one another in content, form, voice, and genre?
c. Which seem like the “best written”? Why?
d. Which can you relate to personally?
Try to narrow down to two or three texts that you particularly appreciate. Then try to
determine which of these will help you write the best close reading essay possible.
Follow the steps from #1 once you’ve determined your focus text.
3) If your teacher allows you to choose any text you want, they probably did so because they want you to choose a text that means a lot to you personally.
a. Consider first what medium (e.g., prose, film, music, etc.) or genre (e.g., essay,
documentary, Screamo) would be most appropriate and exciting, keeping in
mind any restrictions your teacher might have set.
b. Then, brainstorm what topics seem relevant and interesting to you.
c. Finally, try to encounter at least three or four different texts so you can test the
Now that you’ve chosen a focus text, you should read it several times using the active reading strategies contained in this section and the appendix. Consider what parts are contributing to the whole text, and develop an analytical perspective about that
What parts are contributing to the whole text, and develop an analytical perspective about that relationship.
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