Select and reproduce a paragraph or short section from the assigned reading that you find particularly striking or puzzling or potentially illuminating. Then “gloss” it: that is, describe as succinctly and compellingly as possible what it’s doing in the fictional context, why we should find it interesting or important, what kinds of critical questions and challenges it poses, and indeed, how one might generate from it some more extended critical statement or essay topic.
Issues highlighted can be thematic, stylistic, linguistic, formal, reception-oriented, or indeed anything else one might find intriguing.
How well has the author conveyed the passage’s significance?
What is the author’s point and how successfully does he or she get it across?