21G.026 | Spring 2018 | Undergraduate

Global Africa: Creative Cultures

Readings and Videos

How to Read Closely: Questions to Ask of Texts

1. Know where the text is coming from

  • Who is the author?
  • When was the article written (general timeframe)?

2. Get the story straight

  • Who are the actors in the stories told?
  • What are they doing / What are the various roles played in these stories?
  • How do the actors or roles relate to one another?
  • What are the implications of these interactions?

3. Get the argument straight

  • What is the author arguing in the text (in my own words)?
  • What do I think of this argument?
  • Can I articulate a critique of it?
  • What questions remain unanswered for me?
  • What do I think of how the argument is articulated?
  • What theoretical concepts does the author leverage?
  • To what ends?

4. Figure out what you’re supposed to take away

  • Why was this reading assigned?
  • What am I (supposed / expected) to take away from it?

5. Put articles in conversation with each other

  • How do the [X] papers’ arguments differ?
  • How do they extend on each other? Contradict each other?

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2018
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples
Instructor Insights