Meaning: what is the author’s main idea?

Touchstone 1: Case Study Close Reading
ASSIGNMENT: For this Touchstone, you will select a case study of a topic in U.S. history source to read like a historian. As you learned, doing a close reading means reading the text multiple times, with a different set of questions in mind each time. You will then write and submit answers to a set of close reading questions:
Origin and context: Who wrote this text? When did they write it? What do I know about the events being discussed?
Meaning: What is the author’s main idea? What is the text generally about?
Argument: What is the author’s point of view? Are they trying to convince the reader of something? What evidence do they use to support their argument?
Skills: Is there evidence in the text of agility or problem solving skills being used? In what way(s)?
This Touchstone provides an opportunity for you to delve more deeply into a topic in U.S. history and practice thinking like a historian. It will also prepare you for later Touchstones, which ask you to research a historical question and create a presentation to help others understand how historical events can be applied to current issues. Lastly, it will develop your problem solving skills, because being a critical reader helps you to obtain and evaluate the information you need to solve problems.
Use the Touchstone template below to write answers to the close reading questions as you read. When you have finished, you will submit this template to move onto the next unit.

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