When readers step out and objectify their reading experience,
they reflect on the text and their experience with it, by analyzing
its words and its structure, comparing it to other texts, examining
the author's craft, and objectifying their personal responses
to it. From this critical approach, readers have the opportunity
to extend and examine their understanding of the piece. In this
stance, they can try on different ways of seeing the text, explore
other interpretations, and think about the ways language, syntax,
genre, voice, and time period work within in the piece. This
is also where readers bring various approaches to literary criticism
to bear, using the tools of New criticism, feminist criticism,
or historical criticism, for example, to analyze and critique
this point in the envisionment-building process, readers take
time to explore the author's use of language and the impact
of significant phrases and word choices on the message relayed
to the reader. Here, effective readers utilize literary elements
and allusions to critically analyze the text. Like all others,
this stance can occur at any stage in the recursive envisionment-building
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Some of the questions that readers ask themselves when stepping
back from the text include:
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- Are there any other texts that I have read that can inform
my understanding of this piece?
- Why did the author choose that particular phrase, style,
or organizational feature?
- How does the title relate to the construct of the story?
- How does the language and voice affect my understanding
of the text?
- How does the author's voice contrast with my own perspective?
- Why did some of the word choices affect me so deeply?
- How can my understanding of literary elements (plot, setting,
theme, characterization, and so forth) inform my envisionment?
- How would the piece differ if written, taken place, or
read in another era or culture? How would I see things differently
if I were from another culture, another era, or another's
- How do other interpretations of the text contrast with
- What are some other ways I can react to the text? Consider
other perspectives, such as critical, feminist, or political.