Analysis Of How To Read Like A Professor By Thomas Foster

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Thomas Foster, an English professor, desired to write a book that delivered explanations for what the professor thinks when he or she reads versus that which a student brings to mind in regards to connections made when reading a work of literature. From this desire Foster wrote “How to Read Like A Professor.” In each chapter, Foster describes specific tools and strategies authors have used in the past and continue to put into practice. These strategies are employed by writers as a means to connect to the mind of a reader to a deeper thought or idea related to the context. These hidden messages, according to Foster, are instinctively palpable to the Professor’s eye; but to the eye of one who has not dedicated their life to the study of literature, …show more content…
Foster points this out in his second chapter, discussing scenes of characters sharing the experience of eating. Foster identifies that for authors “writing a meal scene is so difficult, and so inherently uninteresting” (p. 9). So why go through the trouble of including these scenes? “[The] reason” answers Foster, “has to do with how characters are getting along.” Student readers, perhaps, often disregard the simple act of a shared lunch or dinner as holding little information for us. However, as Foster discusses, one can easily identify a pattern when observing different scenes of food consumption from different works. This pattern exposes the sentiments involved between the interacting characters and/or allude to a more profound relationship through the mannerism during the course of the meal. The simple act of eating now applies much more to reading …show more content…
Without this key factor of reading the story through the eyes of the character, our own contexts, our lives, or our preconceptions can muddle the author’s goals. “We all have our own blind spots, and that’s normal[,]” explains Foster, and this is largely due to the fact that human nature dictates that we will have, when reading, a certain level of “faithfulness to the world we know” (p. 118). Foster’s book overall is a comprehensive guide to reading with insight and greater perspective. Especially if you have not developed skills to reading beyond the text, this book his greatly beneficial for young readers. Clearly his writing style is watered-down, to borrow the colloquialism, for such an audience. Though I would prefer a piece more scholarly in nature, I do believe that Foster did adequately meet his goals in explaining deeper thought processes for a young student audience and I thusly would recommend this book to others my own age.
Works Cited
Foster, Thomas. How To Read Like A Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines. New York: Harper Collins Publisher Inc.,

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