Dr. Douglas Fisher:
A close reading is a careful and purposeful reading. Well actually, it’s rereading. It’s a careful and purposeful rereading of a text. It’s an encounter with the text where students really focus on what the author had to say, what the author’s purpose was, what the words mean, and what the structure of the text tells us.
In a close reading, we have to have students reread the text. We give them questions; text dependent questions that require that they go back into the text and search for answers. These aren’t simply recall questions, just the facts of the text, but rather questions that allow students to think about the text, and the author’s purpose, the structure, and the flow of the text.
Close reading requires that students actually think and understand what they are reading.