Affect theory asks readers to closely attend to the way texts build affect and contribute to structures of feeling. This kind of granular focus on the text itself helps students appreciate how arguments or ‘takes’ on a work of literature can be completely grounded in textual reading as opposed to a critical theory framework. Using affect theory as a practitioner has led me to become better at teaching introductory literature students how to conduct a close reading analysis. Well-done close reading is important to teach because it provides clarity and insight into life and our relationship with agency, however suspended. It is good because it is slow, diligent, and careful to avoid easy or interesting oversimplifications.