Textual Analysis Project

Genre: Academic Analytic Essay
Audience: Educated, curious readers
Length: 750-1250 words
Background: “Analyzing Essays,” CDA 427-508

Due Dates:
• Week Three: Rhetorical précis
• Tuesday, 9/29: First Draft
• Tuesday, 10/6: Final Draft

We’ve been practicing a technique known as a rhetorical précis: a highly structured summary that explicates what a writer is expressing, how she does it, and for what intended audience she is writing. Your first major writing assignment in this class is a textual analysis, which draws on those skills in an extended format. A textual analysis is an argument for a probable or potential interpretation of a text. In this case, your challenge is to analyze your choice of,

Remember to keep your tone and your references analytic rather than evaluative in emphasis. Support your points with direct quotes, references to tone, and other examples found in the text.

Once you have read, re-read, and taken notes on the article for analysis, write your first draft:

Introduce the general and specific topics in such a way that generates some curiosity in your reader
Summarize the writer’s main points
Illustrate how the writer makes those points, with examples
Discuss the intended audience and what kind of relationship the writer
establishes – or does not establish — with that audience. What strategic and rhetorical choices does the writer make that seem particularly keyed to the intended audience?
Conclude your analysis by helping your reader get past the “so what?” question: are there any interesting connections between the article you are analyzing and the concepts we’ve been discussing in class? Does the article add to a larger conversation?

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