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Steps in Making Text-to-Text Connections

Jennifer Nadeau, Katie Surber
  • Author
    Jennifer Nadeau

    After receiving her Masters Degree in Education from the University of New Hampshire, Jennifer Nadeau began teaching English Language Arts in 1997. She has currently taught for 23 years at the middle school level at Hampton Academy in New Hampshire. Her professional development includes being a team leader, a member of several education committees and a speaker at the New England League of Middle School Conference for serval years.

  • Instructor
    Katie Surber

    Katie has a Master's degree in English and has taught college level classes for ten years.

Learn about text-to-text connections and understand their importance in literature. See the steps to making connections with text-to-text connections examples. Updated: 07/29/2022

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What is a Text-to-Text Connection?

A text-to-text connection is a strategy used to determine the relationship and commonalities between what a reader has read in the past to what they are currently reading. Text-to-text connections are one method of analyzing literature. When the reader breaks the writing into separate pieces, they are able to see how they relate to other writings. This deeper analysis of the writing involves a series of examinations that consider aspects of the author, the literary elements of the texts, a well as the reader's own response to the pieces of writing.

Importance of Making Text-to-Text Connections

Analyzing literature refers to distinguishing its parts and determining how the parts relate. There are various approaches to writing that a reader can examine. These connections help to broaden thinking and support deeper meaning.

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How to Make Text-to-Text Connections

There are three steps to making connections between texts. All three involve a deeper analysis of text components. Readers can make these connections individually, in any order, or together as a way to have a richer understanding of a text and its relationship to another. Investigating the text will uncover the similarities and differences between ideas.

  • The first step in making a text-to-text connection is to look closely at the characteristics of the authors. By comparing characteristics such as race, age, gender, and culture of the author to that of another piece of literature, a reader will have a deeper understanding of their influences.
  • The second step in making a text-to-text connection is to closely examine the literary elements within the writing. Specific literary elements include setting, character, and theme.
  • The third element of text-to-text connection occurs when the reader reflects on their own experience in reading the piece. The prior personal experience a reader brings to the writing can alter the way they read a piece.

Examining the Authors

The first step in making text-to-text connections is to compare the authors of the writings. This deeper analysis of the authors involves a series of components; for example, the reader should consider the author's age, race, gender, and cultural background. It is important to investigate this aspect of the text because the essential characteristics of an author may bring a very specific perspective to the writing.

A common example regarding author characteristics between texts involves the questions a teacher might ask of their students. For instance, after reading a particular historical fictional story about the war in Afghanistan, a teacher might ask the students to compare the writing to an author who writes an article about their own experiences as a refugee in that same war. Although they are writing about the same war, what these two authors bring to the writing will be very different due to their personal backgrounds. A reader can find commonality in the facts presented from two different perspectives of the same situation.

Consider Literary Elements

The second step in making a text-to-text connection is to investigate the elements of the writing. Because common elements exist throughout literature that can be used in a variety of ways, there are similarities and distinctions to be made which will deepen the reader's comprehension.

Literary elements include:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we make text-to-text connections?

Text-to-text comparisons are important because they allow the reader to use a variety of techniques to broaden their understanding of other writings. Deepening one's understanding and comprehension is essential to becoming a stronger reader and thinker.

What are the three types of connections you can make to a text?

There are three types of connections that can be made to a text. One is text-to-self, a second is text-to-world, and a third is text-to-text.

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