colt writing essay-01

Reading link:…

Alexander, The New Jim Crow, (pp. ix-58)

Alexander, The New Jim Crow, (59-96)

Writing requirement:

Close Reading #1 will be a 2-page analysis of a literary passage. Your reading should demonstrate an overall understanding of the passage’s themes, an ability to explain its formal qualities, and an ability to use the given text to articulate a definition of “the Dream.” We will be performing close readings in class every day, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to hone these skills and perform well on all your written work. With my approval, you may use one of your close readings as the basis of your final paper. A “close reading” is an analysis of both what a particular passage means and how it means.


Choose one passage from the readings we’ve covered so far. A “passage” can be as short as a single sentence or as long as an entire page. Analyze this passage in detail, explaining the following:

Identify the text/genre/author and properly cite the passage

How does the passage fit into the text as a whole?

What are the basic elements we need to understand in order to read this passage (characters, setting, key events, etc)? Are all those elements well established?

What message/theme/tone is the passage attempting to convey?

How does the author use literary devices in order to evoke these messages/themes/tones? (POV, metaphor, simile, repetition, etc)

How is this passage related to the course theme? (explain if this is not immediately clear from your previous analysis)

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