Strategies for close reading include underlining with purpose, numbering paragraphs, chunking text and using the margins for thoughtful notes. Additionally, focus on making connections within the text.
Underline, circle and highlight specific words or phrases depending on the type of text, such as key terms, claims in an argument or powerful verbs. Number each paragraph in the text or selected passage to easily reference the text, especially when discussing it with students or teachers.
Chunking is another common strategy that involves breaking a large piece of text into smaller chunks to make it less intimidating and to increase focus. Do this by drawing horizontal lines between one or more paragraphs. Skim the text to find where natural chunks occur, such as when the author switches topics.
In the left margin, summarize what the author is saying within the text chunk in 10 words or less. In the right margin, choose a method of digging deeper into the text, such as illustrating the author's ideas, describing what the author is doing in a single verb, or asking questions about the text. After reading a chunk of text, try to make connections with the rest of the text as well as predictions about how it might connect to future text.