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Obtaining information is no longer a difficulty in the networked world. The problem becomes one of relevance selection as individuals try to make this information their own. Literary analysis depends upon information processing, but in the classroom the finished product is often communicated to the students. The steps the expert reader has taken to arrive at an analysis are often obscure. This paper suggests that one of the skills of expert readers is the ability to relate contextual information about the author or general intellectual or cultural issues to a text. Students often find this very difficult, as their initial approach to a text as a cryptogram with a single answer constructs a limited frame through which to evaluate contextual material. They also rely on topical, superficial connections and thus make poor relevance judgments. Self-reflection, a skill encouraged in other disciplines but not often mentioned in literary approaches is likely to disrupt some of these limited readings.


School of Arts

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Journal Article

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