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ENGL 1301 - Guide to writing a textual/rhetorical analysis

ENGL 1301 - Guide to writing a textual/rhetorical analysis

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Transcript

  • 1. Critical Analysis Analyzing a Text
  • 2. Rhetorical Context
    • Background of the author
      • What makes the author reliable or credible?
      • Is the writer writing within his or her area of expertise?
      • Does the author identify with a particular group or set of beliefs?
      • What experience does he or she have?
      • Is the author a writer by profession?
    • Why is that significant?
  • 3.
    • Type / Genre of the Source
      • Is it a researched and documented essay by a specialist?
      • Is it the text of a speech delivered to a specific audience?
      • Is it an editorial or an op-ed piece?
      • Is it a syndicated column, political cartoon, or comic strip?
    • Why is that significant?
    Rhetorical Context
  • 4.
    • Intended Audience
      • Who was the article meant for?
      • Does the author expect a popular audience? A general but educated audience? A specialist audience of shared expertise?
      • Does the author anticipate an audience that share cultural, political, or religious values?
      • What type of audience was it? Supportive? Sympathetic? Skeptical? Hostile?
    • Why is that significant?
    Rhetorical Context
  • 5.
    • Primary Purpose
      • Is the work primarily informative or persuasive in intent?
      • Is it designed to entertain or be inspiring?
      • Does it narrate, describe, illustrate, define, compare, or offer analysis?
      • What goals does the author identify in his/her thesis statement?
    • Why is that significant?
    Rhetorical Context
  • 6.
    • Sources of Information
      • Where was the information obtained?
      • Are the sources clearly identified?
        • Beware of “unnamed” or “reliable” sources
      • What kind of sources does the author use?
      • Does he rely on facts and figures? Personal experience? Anecdotal evidence?
    • Why is that significant?
    Rhetorical Context
  • 7. Style
    • Diction and Tone
      • Is the writer using a conversational tone or a more formal style of writing?
      • Does the writer use slang words or technical words?
      • Is the word choice concrete and vivid or abstract and intellectual?
    • Why is that significant?
  • 8.
    • Sentence Structure
      • Are the sentences generally long or short, or varied in length?
      • Does the writer use sentence fragments (incomplete sentences)?
      • Does the writer seem to be using an overly simplistic style? If so, why?
      • Does the writer use parallelism (coordination) or antithesis (contrast)?
    • Why is that significant?
    Style
  • 9.
    • Figurative Language
      • Does the author make use of metaphors or similes?
      • What are the items being compared?
      • What is the point of comparison?
      • What is the emotional impact of the figurative comparison?
    • Why is that significant?
    Style
  • 10.
    • Organization
      • Where are the ideas placed? The beginning, middle, end?
      • What does the placement say about the importance of the idea?
      • What parts of the discussion are developed at length?
      • What points are treated only briefly?
    • Why is that significant?
    Style
  • 11. Style
    • Other things to pay attention to:
      • Hyperbole (exaggeration), understatement, or irony
      • Quotation marks, italics, or capital letters
      • Repetition
      • Examples