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Changing English




This paper explores a suite of close writing practices and exercises that ask students to attend closely to language at the level of morpheme, word, line, sentence, or stanza. Close writing aims to move students beyond a conception of reading as mere transaction and technology, while pushing writing pedagogy beyond the development of expository prose, as is common in post-secondary contexts. Instead, the pedagogies presented in this inquiry frame writing as an analytic practice which aids both students’ capacities as writers and, importantly, their development as critical readers. Such pedagogies, we believe, reflect a less-didactic approach to teaching reading, writing, and literature. We argue that close writing positions students in an exploratory, experimental stance in relation to composition, one that allows for the analytic aims of close reading in addition to different kinds of learning.


Close writing, close reading, creative writing, classroom exercises, post-secondary education, mimetic writing, erasure, writing pedagogy


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Changing English on July 6, 2022, available online:


English and Comparative Literature

Available for download on Saturday, January 06, 2024