English 106: Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition

Division 29; Section 01

Essay Analysis

The difference between summarizing an author’s essay or purpose and analyzing that author’s piece of writing is small but significant. When analyzing, one has asked a question about the choice(s) an author has made in the form or content of their writing and attempted to determine how it relates to, determines, enforces, or contradicts the author’s purpose.

We have seen how asking simple questions about the things we notice in an essay, and then searching for meaning in those things we have noticed, can ultimately lead to well crafted and thoughtful analysis. You have seen how this works with “The Periodic Table” and “Red Shoes” essays from Compose, Design, Advocate.

Now it is your turn to use these skills to make critical observations about an author’s work and their purpose, applying them to specific essays read for class and creating a 2 to 3 page analysis of the essay.

Due: Fridays at the beginning of class. Check the Course Calendar for the specific assignments, essay being analyzed, and due date.