How to Close Read a Literary Passage

close read

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “close read.” I was a sophomore in high school, and the extent of my English class experience had been memorizing plot facts, characters, and setting. I could identify the “setting,” the “climax,” and, if I was feeling fancy, the denouement of the story, but that was it. As I found out soon enough, however, memorizing the basic facts is not enough. What’s really exciting is the presentation of those facts, and that is where close reading (i.e. analysis) comes in.

Here, in the first installment of my writing series, I’ll share how I approach analyzing a shorter passage. I’ve seen pages upon pages of analysis written on a few paragraphs of text. There is always something to write about, and chances are, if your teacher has assigned this particular piece, there is sufficient material to work with.

Continue Reading

Cracking the Common App: 8 Strategies


Hello, all! This is a post for all you high school seniors/college applicants writing your common app essays. We went through the college application process only a few years ago, and we’re here to provide some tips for writing your personal statement. While the essay prompts may vary, the strategies for tackling them are similar.

Continue Reading

4 Reasons Being Single is Awesome

As someone who grew up inhaling rom-coms and teen paranormal romance books (you know you liked them too), I always put  pressure on myself to be in a relationship. Often, I felt like the main purpose of life was to find someone to be with. Writing this now, I realize how silly that is. I really like who I am and as I grow up, I realize that I like being alone. I’m the type of person that needs a lot of space and being in a relationship would inevitably complicate that. While I am sure I’ll be in relationship eventually, I am going to enjoy this time alone and focus on myself. Here are some reasons being single is amazing.

Continue Reading

Thanksgiving Activities, Part 1: Home Edition


Hello, all! Maya here. Em and I thought we’d share some of our favorite Thanksgiving activities with you all!

Returning home after college is always an interesting experience. In this post, which marks part one of our 2017 Thanksgiving series, I’ll be sharing some things to do while home to recuperate and get ready for upcoming finals.

Staying on campus has its own host of challenges. Look for part two in our Thanksgiving series to see some ideas to keep you entertained while on campus!

Continue Reading

How to Rebound from Bad Grades


Hi, all. Today, we’ll be discussing the dreaded bad grades and, more importantly, strategies for moving on.

So, you either have or have not put in the hours of studying, taken the test, and…you’ve gotten a “bad grade.” Your definition of a bad grade might not match someone else’s definition of poor performance, but, at the moment, that doesn’t matter. You have the grade now, and you’re dissatisfied —  maybe even disheartened.

Maybe you put in hours of studying or chose to stay in the library rather than go to that fun event last weekend. Maybe you pulled a frantic all nighter the day before the exam. Either way, the reality is: you have this less-than-satisfactory grade, and what matters is what you do next.

Continue Reading