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Ch 1: Interpreting Literature

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons and learn about the different aspects of interpreting literature. Learn about concepts that include inference, connotation and denotation.

Interpreting Literature - Lessons and Learning Objectives

You've probably noticed that when you read something for an assignment, you are expected to really pay attention. You are expected to understand themes, motivations and even interpret what the author was 'really trying to say.' It's nothing at all like reading that trashy romance novel you read on the weekend when you were just looking for something to keep you from getting bored. Interpreting literature helps us understand authors and learn about the deeper levels contained within a written piece. In this chapter, you'll learn some strategies and tips to help you interpret literature easier. Some of the things you'll learn include:

  • How to infer meaning
  • How using context can find meaning
  • How to use visualization
  • How to understand tone and mood
  • Types of reading strategies
  • How structure affects meaning

VideoObjective
What is Inference? - How to Infer Intended Meaning Examine what inference means and how you can use it to understand what you are reading.
Constructing Meaning with Context Clues, Prior Knowledge & Word Structure Discover how to use context, prior knowledge and word structure to figure out the meaning in a written piece.
Reading Strategies Using Visualization Study how to use visualization as a reading strategy.
How to Use Context to Determine the Meaning of Words Explore the meaning of words through context clues.
What is Connotation and Denotation? - Definitions & Examples Find out what connotation and denotation are.
Understanding Tone and Mood in a Reading Passage Take a look at tone and mood to learn how to understand them.
What is Structure in Writing and How Does it Affect Meaning? Examine how structure can affect meaning.
Close Reading vs. Big Picture Reading Strategies Explore these two types of reading strategies.
Interpreting Literary Meaning: How to Use Text to Guide Your Interpretation Discover how to use the text to help you understand what you are reading better.

9 Lessons in Chapter 1: Interpreting Literature
What is Inference? - How to Infer Intended Meaning

1. What is Inference? - How to Infer Intended Meaning

In this lesson, we will define the terms inference and intended meaning. We will then discuss what steps to take when making inferences in literature.

Constructing Meaning with Context Clues, Prior Knowledge & Word Structure

2. Constructing Meaning with Context Clues, Prior Knowledge & Word Structure

In this lesson, you will learn how readers use prior knowledge, context clues and word structure to aid their understanding of what they read. Explore these strategies through examples from literature and everyday life.

Reading Strategies Using Visualization

3. Reading Strategies Using Visualization

In this lesson, we will define visualization. We will then discuss why this step is important, how we can visualize, and when you should visualize. Finally, we will look at a sample from a poem and practice visualizing.

How to Use Context to Determine the Meaning of Words

4. How to Use Context to Determine the Meaning of Words

With diligence and intrepid ingenuity, you can use context to ascertain the purport of a word. In other words, in this lesson, we'll find out how to use context to figure out what words mean.

What Are Connotation and Denotation? - Definitions & Examples

5. What Are Connotation and Denotation? - Definitions & Examples

Discover the difference between a word's denotation and its connotation in this lesson. Explore how authors use both denotation and connotation to add layers of meaning to their work with some literary examples.

Understanding Tone and Mood in a Reading Passage

6. Understanding Tone and Mood in a Reading Passage

In this lesson, we will define the literary terms tone and mood. We will then discuss how to identify each of them, as well as how to identify them in small reading passages.

What is Structure in Writing and How Does it Affect Meaning?

7. What is Structure in Writing and How Does it Affect Meaning?

In this lesson, we will define the role of structure in literature. From there, we will look at the different ways to structure fiction and how it affects the meaning.

Close Reading vs. Big Picture Reading Strategies

8. Close Reading vs. Big Picture Reading Strategies

In this lesson, learn about two different approaches to reading a work of literature: big picture strategies and close reading strategies. Discover how these two perspectives can be put into practice through examples from the play 'Romeo and Juliet.'

Interpreting Literary Meaning: How to Use Text to Guide Your Interpretation

9. Interpreting Literary Meaning: How to Use Text to Guide Your Interpretation

In this lesson, we will discuss how to find and interpret literary meaning in writings. The lesson will focus on using the text to find key elements to guide your interpretation.

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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the English 103: Analyzing and Interpreting Literature course

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