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Reading Analytically

10.2.2 Key Terms

    1. Authorial intent is the inferred or speculated intention and the bias of a writer. It must be considered in the process of text wrestling analysis.
    2. Analysis is the cognitive process and/or rhetorical mode of studying constituent parts to demonstrate an interpretation of a larger whole.
    3. Connotation is the associated meanings of a word, phrase, or idea beyond its ‘dictionary’ definition; the complex, subjective, and dynamic meanings of a word, phrase, or idea the shift based on interpretive position. Contrast with denotation.
    4. Denotation is the dictionary definition of a word, phrase, or idea; the standard and objective meaning of a word, phrase, or idea which, theoretically, does not vary based on interpretive position. Contrast with connotation.
    5. Critical reading is a technique of reading that focuses attention on features of the text to construct an interpretation. (This is in contrast to interpretive methods that rely on research, historical context, biography, or speculation.
    6. Interpretation is the process of consuming rhetoric to create meaning. “An interpretation” refers to a specific meaning we build as we encounter a text, focusing on certain ideas, language, or
    7. A motif is a recurring image or phrase that helps convey a theme. Similar to a symbol, but the relationship between the symbol and the symbolized is more one-to-one than between motif and theme.
    8. Pattern is a notable sequence; structure or shape; recurring image, word, or phrase found in a piece of rhetoric.
    9. Reference is a connection a text makes to another text. Can be explicit or implicit; might include allusion, allegory, quotation, or parody. Referencing text adopts some characteristics of the referenced text.
    10. A symbol is an artifact (usually something concrete) that stands in for (represents) something else (often something abstract).




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Expression and Inquiry by Christopher Manning; Sally Pierce; and Melissa Lucken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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