What Are Some Ways to Read Literature Like a Professor?


Quick Answer

Analyze literature like a professor by taking careful notes, being aware of the multiple interpretations that can exist for a work, paying attention to different literary elements and determining what purpose these elements serve. Reading like a professor takes practice but can unlock new dimensions in a literary work.

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Full Answer

The first step to reading like a professor is to take ample notes when reading through a work of literature. It?s crucial to mark up the text, highlighting important passages, sections that seem to relate to one another, recurring thematic elements and anything else that is interesting or confusing. Taking good notes allows for better readings and re-readings.

Professors are always aware of the multiple meanings that can exist in any work of literature. Far beyond a single interpretation, professors recognize the wealth of viewpoints that can offer different perspectives on a work. Even if a professor does not agree with a possible interpretation, she must try to be aware of other potential meanings when reading through a text.

One of the main jobs of literary analysis is to interpret the different aspects of a work and determine how they contribute to the author?s message. Professors work to interpret features such as structure, character, plot, symbolism and point of view, determining how these aspects function in a text and what greater meanings they elicit.

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