Tag Archives: analysis

1020 Session Eight Analyze This! 9-25-14

On Tap Tonight:

The Analysis Essay Outline



I. Introduction with a strong thesis –

Your Introduction needs to have H.E.A.T

  • Hook-capture the reader’s attention
  • Exigence-create a need/desire to continue reading
  • Anticipation-provide a peek at what is to come in the body
  • Thesis – Project Two is largely driven by its thesis. Having a strong thesis statement (such as one that uses the “skeletal structure” we’ve covered in class) will  make it easier for you as a writer to keep your argument organized and for your readers to follow your argument’s structure.

A “skeletal structure” for the thesis will likely be some variation on the following:

 A = Author(s)

W = Work being analyzed

T = Thesis of that work

X, Y, Z, Q(etc.) = particular strategies used by Author(s) to support their thesis  and/or questions and problems that arise

Any variation of this formula will work.

eg.  “In W, A argues T through X, Y, Z” or “Through the use of  X, Y, Z, A argues T in W.“

Likewise, if you choose to analyze a genre from a specific discourse community, you may find that your thesis statement contains the following elements:

https://i2.wp.com/images.cjcarterdesigns.com/projects/skeleton1-jumbo.jpgG = Genre being analyzed

DC = Discourse community it is primarily found in

P =  Purpose the genre serves

X, Y, Z, Q(etc) = Specific features of the genre that serve the DC and/or questions or problems that arise

e.g. “The G helps DC by providing X, Y, Z in the pursuit of P.” or, “In order to P the DC uses G which features X, Y, Z.”

Building Blocks for Support Paragraphs: TED revisited.

You need basically three items in each support paragraph.

1. A transition that also serves as a topic sentence to open the paragraph. An easy way to segue into your new paragraph is to introduce the technique under review in relation the previous one. For instance, you might write:

  • (If the previous paragraph was on technique X, and the new one you are starting is on technique Y): “In addition to X, A spends considerable time relating Y.”
  • Or you might write something that weights the technique under review in comparison to others: “However, A’s strongest examples come by way of Y.”
  • Here’s one from the film reviewers analysis from The Wayne Writer: “Both authors discuss the plot, but write about it differently” (303).

2. You need sentences that provide examples of the technique under review in the paragraph. Effective use of quotations from, or paraphrases of, the text being analyzed will be valuable in this section.

3. Finally, you need to relate the examples back to the thesis of the text being analyzed. Doing so reminds the reader of the central argument of the text and how the technique you’re covering in this paragraph is, as you have stated, important to the forwarding of this argument. These types of sentences can conclude your paragraph or the can be woven into the paragraph.

Here’s the “examples” section of the paragraph from the film reviewers analysis from The Wayne Writer, with sentences that relate to the thesis in bold:

  • Geist felt that the movie was “a constantly surprising comedy which chronicles the thirty-year relationship of a mother and daughter and their wayward men.” He uses difficult vocabulary intended for the well-educated reader. For example, Geist writes, “Alone and fearful of reaching fifty, Aurora surrenders to her bibulous and lecherous neighbor, Garret, a former astronaut, whom she had previously disdained as uncouth.” When discussing the story, Geist gave away too much to the reader. He stated that Emma became infected with cancer and eventually died. When Schickel explained the same part in the story, he did not completely give the story away. Instead of saying that Emma has cancer he refers to it as “Emma’s illness.” He never states that she dies.

All of these “concluding” sentences illustrate the different writing styles of the two film reviewers as stated in the essay writer’s thesis. They may also work to show how the example described in the sentence that preceded it were effective and/or how it forwards the central argument of the work being analyzed.

Check your support paragraph with the following criteria for evaluation:

  • How effectively does the first (“topic”) sentence of the paragraph set up the rest of the paragraph?
  • Are appropriate/effective examples drawn from the text? Do these examples fit into one of the categories/techniques identifed in the thesis?
  • Does the paragraph as a whole fit together cohesively?

A sample outline for the written part of Project Two could look something like this:

  1. Introduction and background info (1-2 paragraphs)
    1. Hook–make the reader want to read! Start with something exciting about the piece you will be analyzing;
    2. Exigence–explain why the reader should care about your analysis by explaining background info about your selected work and discuss what is at stake;
    3. Anticipation–provide some hint of what is  in store for the reader by explaining what you are analyzing; often this is performed in conjunction with…
    4. THESIS — should be along the lines of how the specific rhetorical strategies and/or elements of the work affect its audience
  2. Body Paragraphs (as many as you need) should all have:
    1. Topic Sentence (also works as a transition)
    2. Claim
    3. Evidence
    4. Analysis
    5. Always refers back to the THESIS
  3. Conclusion
    1. Revisit your thesis in some manner.  DO NOT CUT AND PASTE it from your introduction.  Show how your analysis prove (or disprove) how rhetorical elements of the work produce the effects you claim.
    2. Wrap things up.

Use this analysis checklist to make sure you have all the essential elements.

Homework: Write analysis essay. Create multimedia project.

Bring two printed copies of your analysis (without personal reflection) to class on Tuesday for peer review. Essay to be uploaded to SafeAssign via Blackboard by 11:59 pm on Wednesday 10/1/14.

Presentation to be finalized before class on Thursday, 10/2/14. Place it or a link to it on your blog.

Read: Macrorie I-Search Ch 6  AND Postman and Weingartner



1020 Session Six: Genre and Rhetoric 9/16/14

On Tap Today:

  • About your “About” pages and grading.
  • Tying up loose ends

Post Project Reflection:

We’ll start class today with a reflection about your reading and writing practices. Think through and write about the following ideas on your blog or in your notebook (you can work through them in whatever order makes sense to you):

  • What do I read on a regular basis? Include reading for school and pleasure.
  • What do I like to read?
  • Where do I read best?
  • Where or when is reading hard for me?
  • What is something new I have learned about reading since starting this semester (in any of my classes)?
    • Why was reading this information or reading this way important to me/to my learning?
  • What is something new I have learned about writing since starting this semester (in any of my classes)?
    • How will this information impact me or my learning?

graded document

graded document 1


Let’s connect all the dots between Gee, Swales, and the Wayne Writer.


And take a more in-depth look at genre.


Finally (time permitting), let’s take a closer look at the concept of the rhetorical situation.


Read in WW and ch 7 pp216-229 AND ch. 8 pp. 253-266 and 283-296.

Write: Writing Project 8.4 on p. 295.  You will be using the information in Box 7.1 on p. 229 to analyze an academic genre from one of your classes.  This may be a textbook, an assignment sheet, or a website.  Bullet points are fine.  Handwrite or print out to bring to class on Thursday along with the item you are analyzing. We will work in small groups to compare analyses and prepare a final analysis.

1020 Session Three: Discourses and Genre

Today’s Agenda:

  • Responses to Gee. What is a primary Discourse? A secondary Discourse? How relevant are they to your college writing experiences?
  • Project One
  • Project Two
  • Rhetorical Situation and Genre

Make a list of all the different Discourses, or scenes, that you participate in and outside of college.  With one or two partners, discuss your lists and see where they overlap.  Answer the following questions together:

  • Who are the participants?
  • How are participants expected to behave and interact with each other?
  • What mode and style of communication is used?
  • What specific topics are of interest?

Today we’re going to look at personal blogs as one genre that is used in certain discourse communities to communicate individuals’ ideas about topics. In particular, in preparation for Project One, we are going to look at the about me or about pages on these blogs to see what they look like (what textual features they have) and what they are meant to do (what the social function is). Thinking about how the design of the text connects to the purpose of the text will help you think about how you want to put Project One together, but also about how genre, purpose, audience, writer, and context all work together as part of the rhetorical situation.

So as we look at these blog examples today, we’ll talk about

-What does the text look like?

-What impact does that design have on the purpose and audience?

The features we catalogue in these pages may be things you’ll want to incorporate into your own about me pages in Project One.

“About Me” example 1

“About Me” example 2

“About Me” example 3

“About Me” example 4




  • Wayne Writer chapter 1, “Understanding Scenes of Writing” 3-25, 41-45
  • The Concept of Discourse Community” by John  Swales
  • Using this list, or Google, find a blog related to your major, career path, or personal interest.  Read a post or two to get a feel for the blog and blogger(s). Post the URL of your chosen blog on your wordpress site.


  • Begin drafting your “About Me” page.
  • Post Two: Blog Analysis

    • Write an evaluation (@ 300-500 words) describing the blog you found above by 11:59 pm, Wed. 9/10/14
    • Discuss:
      • Blogger and hosting site
      • Readers and their characteristics
      • What the blogger(s) want their readers to do
      • The ways the blogger(s) influence readers’ attitudes and actions
      • How well these objectives were met (or not).
      • Post this to your wordpress or other blog by 11:59 pm, Wed. 9/10/14
  • Project One is due by 11:59 pm Sunday, September 14, 2014
  • Project Two is due by 11:59 Sunday, September 28, 2014