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From contextual analysis feedback notes: draft #2

Be sure to add a title that telegraphs the topic & purpose of your essay:

  • What is an Immigrant? A Contextual Analysis
  • What can Contextual Research tell us about Race Relations in Chicago?
  • Who Should Decide What Constitutes “Too Much” Anxiety Medication for Adolescents? A Contextual Analysis

Those are literal, conventional, straightforward examples; feel free to be more creative with yours, as long as it telegraphs to readers what is it they are about to read. See 4h in your SMH.

Make clear early in your essay what the essay is about — your issue and what kind of research you are doing: “the contextual analysis method can help us understand what is really at stake in the immigration debate … the purpose of college … anxiety medication” …. however you are framing the issue — let your readers know there is something really at stake here, and you are going to tell us what it is! Don’t make readers wait, and don’t make them figure it out on their own — remember, try moving a little from writer-based prose to reader-based prose. Readers need guidance sometimes. Help them!

If you aren’t using the words “rhetoric” and “values” and maybe even “ideology” a lot in your essay, you’re probably not doing a Contextual Analysis. Try a CTRL-F search in your essay to confirm that you’ve used those terms. The more you use them the better, is my advice; don’t be shy about exploiting the key terms that are the foundation of your projects. If you’re worried about being “too explicit” about your analytic method — you may have noticed in some of your own research that many researchers discuss their methods in some detail.

If you’re planning a visit to the Writing Center, remember to tell your peer tutor that you don’t need a thesis or an argument in this essay — it’s pure analysis (comparison/contrast; synthesis; rhetoric, values, ideology); otherwise, because they are trained to look for a thesis, they might waste some of their time and your time.

In other news, a rhetorically compelling 10:00 video: “Colin Kaepernick: ‘Love Is at the Root of Our Resistance’”

Or, if you need it, those monkeys in Japan.

Thanks for reading!