English Text Meanings Dr Mark’s The Meaning in a Nutshell

Understanding the meaning of a text is essential for any kind of literary analysis required in English courses.

To read, hear or view something and to be able to determine its meaning and express it succinctly and comprehensively is one of the hallmarks of an educated person and exercises literary analysis in English should be used as an opportunity to cultivate this widely applicable skill.

This skill is relevant to all subjects, not just English. It is as applicable to understanding, for example, a medical textbook, or a government report, or a newspaper editorial, or a television program, or an advertising billboard, or an essay in political philosophy, as well as to understanding a classic novel.  This skill is applicable to life: to produce a life better understood and better lived.

As far as English is concerned, every essay question or essay prompt on a text (be it a novel, play, film, graphic novel, short story collection, poetry collection, or non-fiction text) to be effectively answered requires an understanding of the meaning of that text.

Understanding the meaning of a text enables a student to confidently and convincingly resolve the essay question or fully address the issues raised by the essay prompt.  It also enables the most sophisticated students to intelligently contest elements of the question or prompt (if they believe that is required) from a perspective grounded by perceptive understanding.

You may have heard references to the themes of a text.  This refers to ideas (meanings) that are conveyed throughout the text and subthemes are ideas that are conveyed to a lesser degree.  Put simply, understanding the themes of a text equates with an appreciation of its meaning.

You may have also heard references to the messages of a text.  Authors write with a purpose. They have messages to convey.  Their messages are what they say in regards to the issues with which they deal.

As you have probably already realised, the meaning, the themes and the messages of the text are overlapping categories or labels for dealing with the same thing.  It all comes back to meaning.  This means that it all comes back to appreciating the points the author has made.

When Dr Mark Lopez makes the detailed notes he will use to teach his students about a text, his notes feature a succinct yet comprehensive statement of the meaning of the text.  It will be the first thing he teaches his students when he teaches them about the text.  He refers to it as: The Meaning in a Nutshell.  His students find it indispensable.

Dr Mark Lopez appreciates that one of the greatest delights of being properly educated is to have the meaning of something that was confusing clarified and properly explained.

In this regard, he hopes that students will use Dr Mark’s The Meaning in a Nutshell  to assist them in what they do.

The meaning of a text can be accessed by clicking on your choice from the list below, or by using the drop down menu feature on ‘English Text Meanings Free’, or by scrolling down to the footer (the very end of these web pages) and clicking on your choice there.

How to use the drop-down MENU feature:

  • On the top menu bar (or burger menu on a mobile phone) hover over the Text Meanings in a Nutshell menu item.
  • Wait until a long list of related pages drops down (and is revealed).
  • Then click on to choose the item you want to read.
  • Or, scroll down to the footer (bottom of the page) and click on the item to read it.

Dr Mark’s The Meaning in a Nutshell

Dr Mark’s The Meaning in a Nutshell presents a succinct yet comprehensive statement of the meaning of a text to serve as the key to understanding the text and the material in the text.  This concise statement of the meaning can help students to work productively through the material in the text in a way that is focused and fruitful.

Dr Mark Lopez is also available for private English Tutoring in Melbourne.

Phone or text Dr Mark Lopez on: 0419 310 958

Or email him on: drmlopez@bigpond.net.au 


For more information about Dr Mark Lopez’s resources for students

Contact us today.

Phone or text Dr Mark Lopez on: 0419 310 958

Or email him on: drmlopez@bigpond.net.au