Close Reading: A Humanities Approach to SoTL

Close reading, an interpretive method most often associated with English Studies, can provide rich insights into teaching and learning as it can be applied to many types of assignments, interview transcripts, and reflective writing. In this presentation, I describe what close reading is (and isn’t). I explore some of the assumptions about representation that close reading relies upon. I outline how to begin a close reading and provide tips on how to share your interpretation with others in presentation or published forms.  In this session, participants will have the opportunity to practice some close reading and debate different interpretations.

  • picture of Karen Manarin

    Karen Manarin, Ph.D.

    Professor of English (retired), Languages and Cultures, Mount Royal University

    Karen Manarin taught literature and writing classes at Mount Royal University. An award-winning teacher, she was named Board of Governors Teaching Chair in Advanced Literacy for her SoTL work on undergraduate reading. She has also published on academic identity and Humanities approaches to SoTL. Her most recent book, written in collaboration with Michelle Yeo and Janice Miller-Young, is SoTL Research Methodologies: A Guide to Conceptualizing and Conducting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Routledge, 2024).