1. Single text article analysis
A suggested approach…
2. Article Analysis Basics
• Remember, when analysing an article you are
looking to identify and describe:
– WHAT is being said (content)?
– HOW is it being said (tone, PWTs, etc)?
– WHY is it being said or presented in this way
(intended effect on the reader)?
3. 1. Establish the context of the article
• What type of article is it?
• Who is the author? What’s their background?
How are they connected with the issue? What
agenda/motive are they likely to have?
• What newspaper was this article in? Tabloid or
broadsheet? Who is the target audience likely
• At first glance, what stands out? Are there any
visual features that grab attention?
4. 2. Identify the key content
• What is the contention of the article? (Check
headline, first and final paragraph first).
• What are the author’s key ideas/arguments?
• What evidence is used to support these
arguments throughout the piece? Look for:
– Statistics and facts
– Specific examples and case studies
– Experts’ opinions
– Anecdotal evidence
5. 3. Consider the writer’s tone, style and
• What sort of tone does the writer use? Is it
uniform or does it change in places? What are
some words you can quote that demonstrate
• What comments can you make about the
author’s style of writing and structure of their
piece? Why have they written it this way?
What’s the intended effect?
6. 4. Identify and analyse specific PWTs
• What are the obvious PWTs (persuasive words
and techniques) in the article? For each one:
– Highlight it in the article
– List it on a notes page, find an example to quote,
and briefly note down the intended effect on the
reader of that specific example:
PWT Example/Quote Effect of the reader of the
specific example quoted:
Use of statistics “...there has been a 36% Influences the reader to
increase in sales of RTDs...” conclude that alcohol use
has risen greatly; they may
conclude that it is out of
control; statistics are hard
to argue with
7. 5. Planning a response
• Before planning your response, ensure you
– carefully read and annotated the article
– Made notes on key information relating to content
(contention, key arguments, etc)
– Listed key PWTs and tone, with quoted examples
and notes on the effect of each on the reader
8. 5. Planning a response
• First of all consider connections between key
points or arguments and the PWTs you have
identified in the article:
– Which PWTs are used in conjunction with which
arguments? How does the combined effect of
argument and PWTs impact on the reader in each
– Spend some time linking arguments and PWTs on
paper; this will form the framework for your
analysis structure (body paragraphs).
9. 6. Writing a response
– Introduce article (type, title, author, paper and
– Link the article to the broader issue/context
– Identify contention and key arguments
– Briefly list several of the major PWTs
– Briefly describe the tone
– Identify any target audience
10. 6. Writing a response
• Body Paragraphs
– Topic Sentence: indicate one key argument presented
by the author; explain how it supports the author’s
– Describe PWTs used in conjunction with the
argument, quoting example/s and explaining their
effect on the reader (effect = what is the reader
encouraged to think or feel)
– Finish with a linking sentence: link key focus of this
body paragraph back to contention, or link forward to
next body paragraph
11. 6. Writing a response
– Summarise/restate key points of analysis:
contention, arguments, tone, PWTs, etc.
– Make a judgement about the overall
persuasiveness or effectiveness of the article.
– If applicable, comment on if and how the article is
likely to influence any target audience previously
12. 7. Review and revise
• After you have written your analysis, time
permitting, review and check:
– Spelling, grammar, punctuation and expression
– Clarity and fluency – are ideas linked well?
– Use of appropriate language, vocabulary and tone
– Have you explained your ideas in sufficient depth