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Writing a Thesis for an Analytical Paper

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Tony Russell

on 27 January 2011

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Transcript of Writing a Thesis for an Analytical Paper

Writing a Thesis for
an Analytical Paper http://www.healthyeastleigh.org.uk/images/writing.JPG What is an Analysis Paper? Analysis involves Interpretation.
It is a way of figuring out
a literary work
a film
a social event or situation
a natural event or disaster
a piece of art or cultural artifact This is NOT... a plot summary* * It must answer more than just the question,
"What happened?" Instead, your magic word is going to be... How? Maimon, Peritz, and Yancey write that an analysis paper
"examines or compares particular items for a reason: to enhance
your readers' understanding of people's conditions, actions,
beliefs, or desires" (118). http://www.magicbob2000.com/resources/Hocus%20plate%20small0003_edited-5.jpg How does my paper "enhance" the way my readers understand the topic I'm discussing?
What does it do for them that they would not otherwise get if they had experienced the subject themselves? Intellectual Framework Rhetorical Stance Audience Purpose Enhance a reader's understanding by comparing like subjects, contrasting different ones, interpreting data, explaining patterns, and suggesting reasons why readers or viewers ascribe meanings to certain subjects. While it is possible that readers or viewers will have some knowledge of the subject matter, one can never assume that this is the case. Write to an unknown audience. Explain your points as though your audience has no prior knowledge of the subject matter. Situate yourself amongst your experts, when you have them. Present what your experts have to say but always maintain your own voice. Whenever THEY say something, YOU need to say something in return, whether in agreement or disagreement. What is guiding your analysis? Are you the only authority? If so, where are you getting your information? If not, who is the authority on the matter? Who can help to provide you with a path for your analysis? Your Thesis Statement Janet E. Gardner writes that the purpose of the academic paper is "to explain, defend, and ultimately prove the thesis for your paper" (18). Gardner, Janet E. Writing about Literature: A Portable Guide. 2nd ed.
Boston: Bedford, 2010. Print. Explain? Defend? Prove? How do your main points uncover, explore, analyze, or contextualize your subject matter?
How do you main points "enhance" a reader's/viewer's understanding of the subject matter? Does your paper justify itself?
Does it have an intellectual background from which to make its points or build its ethos? Are your main points proveable? If not, you may not have an analytical paper. Class Activity Watch a short YouTube film together.
Pay attention to HOW the film tells its story.
Discuss some possibilities for writing an analytical essay about the film.
Create a sample thesis statement together.
If it's creepy, tell me how.
If it's dark, tell me how.
When it represents death or insanity, how does it do so? Edgar Allan Poe, "Berenice"
Egaeus - noble recluse, obsessed with cousin and her teeth
Berenice - beautiful cousin, becomes ill, dies
Conclusion - Egaeus exhumes his cousin removes all of her teeth, but she's alive Papers I Might Have Written 1. How this film compares with de la Torre's other films.
2. How this film is different from Poe's short story and what kind of difference that makes in how a reader/viewer perceives the work.
3. How de la Torre's film links Berenice to the supernatural and demonic. The Paper I've Decided
to Write I was disturbed by the way the film represented insanity, love, and death. What's missing from my analysis? Is this my thesis statement? I was disturbed by the way the film represented insanity, love, and death. Who represents insanity, love, and death in the film? In the short film "Berenice," Golan de la Torre... How does de la Torre represent insanity? Love? Death? In the short film "Berenice,"
Golan de la Torre... Insanity - How?
Love - How?
Death - How? Maimon, Elaine P., Janice H. Peritz, and Kathleen Blake Yancey. A Writer's Resource: A
Handbook for Writing and Research. 3rd ed. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2010. Print. What last night's reading had to say... 1. Summarize the material. (Tell what happened.)
2. What questions do you have after viewing the film? If you made other people watch this film, what sorts of questions would they ask?
3. Compare or contrast the subject to another.
4. What type of analysis are you doing? What types of things are common to that sort of analysis?
5. Focus on one or two items that interest you. These may include character, structure, setting, etc. I was disturbed by the way the film represented insanity, love, and death. More of what our reading suggests... CONTEXT ISSUE OR PROBLEM SPECIFIC FOCUS What background information do we need to provide? Did I have questions or problems while viewing the film? Did a couple of items stand out for me? CONTEXT: SPECIFIC FOCUS: Did I see or have any specific issue or problem with the film? ISSUE OR PROBLEM: ...may be jarring for some viewers...
...may be offensive to some viewers...
...is a supernatural rendering...
...keeps viewers both interested and creeped out... Tonight's Homework:
Your Own Example Golan de la Torre depicts the young woman in his short film "Berenice" as a supernatural and demonic temptress figure who wields an unseen power over her lover, despite the fact that the film portrays him as being obsessed and insane. In "Berenice," Golan de la Torre paints a picture of an insane man obsessed by books and a young woman, whom he thinks he loves. Though the young woman dies, the man's obsession is not over. De la Torre combines scenes emphasizing the man's obsession, a grotesque representation of love exchanged, and a crime committed after a death to demonstrate that obsession can be selfish, brutal, and fatal. What sort of intellectual framework might this paper require? What sorts of things will this writer have to prove? Golan de la Torre's "Berenice" combines a soundtrack of classical violins with jarring crashes, deep chants, and simulated screams to create a suspenseful environment, suggest darker motives, and illustrate confusion. These sound techniques contribute to how the viewer will interpret the characters and the story. Where is our how question being answered here? Context
Issue or Problem
Specific Focus
Remember to focus on the "how."
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