Reading and Analyzing Texts
The third strategy for reading and analyzing historical text is Close Reading. Close Reading refers to the evaluation of portions of text by paying attention to what the author says and the way it is said. Here, students pay close attention to the claims of the author, what evidence is used to back up these claims, the language the author uses, and the perspective of the author.
While comprehension of texts is a necessary component of historical inquiry, the ultimate aim of a class history investigation should be to help students read texts for evidence that can then be used to create and substantiate historical claims. Disciplinary literacy practices within historical inquiry privilege analysis and reasoning over summary. While basic comprehension of text is important, the emphasis here should be placed on comprehension for the purpose of analyzing the author’s claims, evidence, and rhetoric.