getting to know a text

by Hugh

I just finished writing a book review, for Books in Canada (I’ve suggested they fix their site). My reviewing technique, which is the same technique I used writing papers on texts in university, and is probably total overkill, is to make notes of important passages while reading, and then copy all those passages out (in university I mostly did it in long-hand). Then I review all the key passages, sketch out (on a yellow pad of lined paper – God’s gift to the thought process) the article, roughly identifying the subjects of each paragraph. Then I associate each quote with a different idea, and then start writing, using quotes when and if needed.

It’s a great way to really get to know a text, and it’s such a satisfying process (and one of the reasons I am planning to go back to school in the fall: I miss really working through a serious text, I do it so rarely now).

Anyway, if you’d like to check out the most interesting (to me) passages in Doidge’s book, here they are.