Skip to Main Content

Literature Resources: Engaging Literature

Links to English Literature Databases and Journals

Active and Close Reading

Steps for Active Reading

  1. Survey—skim the text for main ideas
  2. Question—respond to claims and evidence by noting down questions that arise during your reading
  3. Read—carefully examine text, answering questions from #2
  4. Recall—reflect on the most important aspects of the text
  5. Review—revisit steps #2-#4 to ensure an understanding of the text

Elements of Close Reading

  • Read with a pencil or pen in hand and annotate the text.
  • Look for patterns in the things you've noticed about the text—repetitions, contradictions, similarities, etc.
  • Ask questions about the patterns you've noticed—especially how and why those patterns occur.
  • Develop a thesisan assertion about the meaning and function of the text.
  • Compile evidence from the text.
  • Analyze evidence in detail.


  Adopted from Princeton University’s “Active Reading of Textbooks” and Patricia Kain's “How to Begin” (Writing Center at Harvard University)

Video Tutorials

Video tutorials for reading and writing.

Library Guru

Profile Photo
Danielle O'Barto
Gangwish Library
Ottawa University
1001 S. Cedar St.
Ottawa, KS 66067