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Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Lack Depth? Three Levels of Analysis

When I teach, I'm constantly experimenting with new approaches. Occasionally, I surprise myself with something that really works. In a literature class, a student asked me a very straightforward question:
"what do teachers mean when they say that my essay needs 'more depth'?
Usually, 'your essay needs more depth' is a euphemism that teachers use for 'you didn't read the book'. But this student knew the material very well and it was clear that they were looking for a definition of 'depth'. My answer led to this simple and powerful thinking tool. The "three levels of analysis" approach to reading.

Level 1 - The Story
Level 2 - The Author
Level 3 - Critical Analysis
Finally,

1 comment:

Raquel said...

if only i had known that...
Wow, that is an amazing clear, concise, helpful introduction to...reading...
Although it makes it seem as if the third level is as easy as a change of articles and pronouns, it nails it...Its so funny i have become so excited over it.
I actually do miss my english lit classes, that came to be my anthropology and women studies classes that have ended up in a little bit of calvin and hobbes before i go to bed. Oh I miss academia hahaahahahahah and you!
Hey can I send this to teachers (especially Mr. Arrogance No Tolerance but I am actually very smart Mr. Protic)?