These guided journals walk students through how to do close-text analysis on three short, thematically linked pieces of nonfiction (Steinbeck's "Paradox and Dream," John Winthrop's "City on a Hill," and Greil Marcus' "The Barking Dog"). I have created highly detailed instructions on what to look for (i.e. What metaphor does Winthrop use at the close of paragraph 2? How is this metaphor connected to his purpose?). I also give students a format to complete a dialectical journal for each of these texts (textual evidence in the lefthand column, analysis and insights in the right). These handouts walk students through how to analyze diction and syntax to make sense of complex texts. I also included some discussion questions which can be used for writing prompts or discussion, as well as handouts for even closer text analysis: a word-level and sentence-level analysis for specific quotes from Steinbeck's and Marcus' pieces. I used these assignments at the beginning of an AP Language course to teach students how to read closely as well as how to interpret texts in conversation with each other (it also makes a great set-up for any unit on the American Dream).