Techniques of Close Reading is a brief, supplemental text that trains students in an ability to see what texts--be they written, oral, visual, or mediated--may be saying. Renown scholar and teacher Barry Brummett explains and explores the various ways to "read" messages (speeches, cartoons, magazine ads, etc.), teaching students the ability to see deeper levels of meaning and to share those insights with others.
Techniques of Close Reading differs from other books in rhetorical criticism, textual analysis, or critical thinking by:
- Focusing on the act and techniques of criticism rather than on schools of thought, grand theories, and specific methods, thus helping students to engage in the act of critical close reading in ways that are congenial to a wide range of methods (for that reason, it is highly adaptable to other texts currently in use that are focused on specific methods)
- Explaining the relationships among theory, methods, and techniques of rhetorical criticism
- Examining the ethics and risk of doing and reading rhetorical criticism via plenty of examples, figures, and exercises taken from everyday life
Barry Brummett is the Charles Sapp Centennial Professor in Communication and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1978, and taught at Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin before coming to the University of Texas, Austin in 2001. Brummett has authored, coauthored, or edited numerous articles, scholarly essays, and books, including Contemporary Apocalyptic Rhetoric, Techniques of Close Reading, Rhetoric of Machine Aesthetics, and The Politics of Style and the Style of Politics. His research pursuits include the rhetoric of popular culture, epistemology, and the theories of Kenneth Burke.
Introduction 1. On Noticing What You See and Hear 2. Theories, Methods, Techniques 3. Using Form for Close Reading 4. Transformations in Texts: Seeing beneath the Surface 5. Ideology and Argument 6. Conclusion: A Close Reading Using Multiple Techniques