Textual Analysis Guidelines for Sarah Azzara’s Writing 102


You should have from 800 – 1000 words (12-point, double spaced) of textual analysis in your portfolio

You may choose any one or any combination of texts we’ve examined in class, all of which are available in Blackboard under “Documents.

If you choose to base your paper on more than one text source, there should be a logical reason to examine the texts together in one paper.

Include support from the text for each of your assertions. and cite it with page numbers, if any.  

Be sure to include a works cited entry for each text you use, and cite any quotes.

Goals / What to Avoid:

This paper will examine texts in the same way we have been examining texts in class.  Each text represents a series of choices by the author. Why did the author put these words together in this way? What effect do these choices have on the reader or audience?

How do the pieces (such as tone, devices, diction, format, characterization, etc.) fit together to create more than the sum of their parts?

Avoid summarizing. You do not have to prove that you read the text, and your reader doesn’t need to know the whole story.  They need to know only how the author went about communicating their ideas to the audience. Unless you have a good reason to do so, don’t waste time recounting the plot.

Avoid merely translating each metaphor.  Saying “this stands for this” is not terribly useful.  Why did the author use one thing to represent or describe another?  How does that choice affect the audience?

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