Close Reading for Language Assignments | Custom Essay Help

Choose a brief passage (1-3 paragraphs or verses at most) from one of the stories or poems assigned in our course and write a paper microscopically examining the language, phrasing and symbolism of the passage you’ve selected.

Every one of your claims should be aimed at the specific contents of the text you are interpreting—any broad, general statements about the Human Condition should be avoided. Aim for as dense a written page as possible—every sentence should contain an analysis of the pieces you are analyzing and should avoid any preloaded clichés about the topic at hand.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Close Reading for Language Assignments | Custom Essay Help
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

Look at the passage with an eye for the smallest detail: verb tense and punctuation, diction and phrasing, image and metaphor. Focus on HOW the passage means (by what techniques) more than WHAT it means (avoid summarizing and paraphrasing what the author has already expressed).

Examine at least one possible piece of wordplay in the piece. How does one word sounding like another make for a pun related to the piece’s main theme? “Eye” (as optic organ) puns on “I” (as self) and “aye” (as yes) in several of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays. Speak a key sentence or two out loud to yourself and locate the sounds it makes—how does the gentleness or harshness of a phrase connect to the “inner” meaning of that phrase?

Etymologize the root meaning of at least one word via a good dictionary and explain how, for example the “deep meaning” of the word “politics” (from the Greek word for “city”) or “English” (from “Angle”) relates to a literary piece. Look at a word’s prefixes: how does “dis-” or “de-” turn a word like “ease” into “disease” or “form” into “deform” ? Look at a word’s suffixes: how does a word like “quickness” turn a “temporary” adjective like “quick” into a more stable (or permanent) condition?

Address the relationship between the author and the speaker via the “tone” the writing takes: “You can be certain…” is more controlling than an apologetic “Bear with me…” Look at the transitions between paragraphs: how does a paragraph ending on the word “hopeless” relate to the next paragraph beginning “However…” Look for tricks of orthography (visual spelling)—in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man a morally blind man is called a “poor fool,” a phrase whose doubled o’s suggest resemble vacant eyes.

“Comma” means “to cut off” in Greek—what ideas are being sliced apart or kept separate by an essay’s commas? How are the commas placing ideas in tidy compartments? How many of the essays’ metaphors are “visual”? Are any of the metaphors tactile (based on touch) or gustatory (taste) or auditory (hearing) or olfactory (smell)?

Are whole-sentence modifiers like “perhaps” and “maybe” being used to soften or qualify the piece’s claim? Are “certainly” and “absolutely” being used to the opposite effect? Examine what sorts of words an essay is placing immediately before its periods. What sort of terms are the sentences ending on? How does ending a sentence on “never” differ from ending a sentence on “possibly”?

Every piece of literature has an “imagined audience”—how does the language of a story or poem suggest what sort of readership it anticipates? When using words like “we” or “us,” has the writer earned the right to speak in a collective voice? Where does the language of the piece seem demanding and elitist? Does it use foreign terms where domestic language would do? Does it use pop-culture slang to come across as “unpretentious”?

Does the piece use (parentheses) as devices of intimacy or confidence? Does it engage in “false dichotomies” by splitting and polarizing our choices into too-simple black-and-white oppositions? Look at shifts in verb tenses. If the past and the future tenses are being used in the same sentence, why?

Look at the piece’s use of “as” or “like” (which signal a simile) and explain what sort of comparison is being made. Look for question marks (which are of course automatically “rhetorical” in a written piece, and so not expecting a response) and ask yourself what these questions are really “saying.”

Calculate your order
275 words
Total price: $0.00

Top-quality papers guaranteed


100% original papers

We sell only unique pieces of writing completed according to your demands.


Confidential service

We use security encryption to keep your personal data protected.


Money-back guarantee

We can give your money back if something goes wrong with your order.

Get free features with our reliable essay writing service

  1. Title page

    We offer you a free title page tailored according to the specifics of your particular style.

  2. Custom formatting

    Include your preferred formatting style when you order from us to accompany your paper.

  3. Bibliography page

    Get a list of references to go with your ordered paper.

  4. 24/7 support assistance

    Reach out to our support agents anytime for free assistance.

Calculate how much your essay costs

Type of paper
Academic level
550 words

How to place an order

  • Choose the number of pages, your academic level, and deadline
  • Push the orange button
  • Give instructions for your paper
  • Pay with PayPal or a credit card
  • Track the progress of your order
  • Approve and enjoy your custom paper

Ask our experts to write you a cheap essay of excellent quality

Place an order