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Analyzing a Text

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Johanna Saleska

on 25 April 2013

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Transcript of Analyzing a Text

The Journey to Writing a College Paper Analyzing a Text Learning to Raise Analytical
Questions in Response to a Text with topic
sentences. Controlling an Argument Analyzing a Text Thesis Crafting Controlling
the Argument Grammar and Punctuation Refresher Basics of
Formatting An-a-lyze verb (used with object) 1. To separate (a material or abstract entity)
into constituent parts or elements; determine
the elements or essential features of (opposed
to synthesize).

2. To examine critically, so as to bring out the
essential elements or give the essence of. Analyzing Primary Texts Analyzing Scholarly Articles The What Which of the following can be analyzed as a text? Poems Film Memoirs Paintings

Stories Novels Essays Songs

Ads News Articles Sculpture A Quick Example ... The Why Why bother with all this anyway? 1. To Find Meaning

2. To Find Subtext (Meaning Beneath Obvious)

3. *To Compare with Other Texts*

4. To Place the Text within a Larger Context
-History, Author's Life, Literary Movements, etc.

5. Uh ... Because it's FUN The How How Do I Begin? First of all, an analysis is NOT a summary!!! Reports Contents Raises questions and offers
interpretations The Steps: A Song Analyze This! Rules of Thumb Annotate the text by looking for the following things: The Title
Openings and Closings
Repetitions within the text
Oppositions and Conflicts
Compelling and Memorable Images
Images that Evoke Emotion
Word Choice Some helpful hints: Read text more than once
*Read comparatively
Bring in your background knowledge
Think about context
Have conversations about what you read Now What? What do I do with all these questions? 1. Choose a few questions that intrigue you and try to answer
them (use a little research if necessary).

2. Solidify an answer, find evidence to support your conclusion,
and begin developing a working thesis! The Why? Can't I get the gist from skimming it? I only need a couple quotes anyway ... 1. Gain support for your thesis

2. Learn to address a counterargument

3. Improve/Strengthen your argument

4. Use published articles as models for how you
should write your own analysis. And Other Persuasive Essays The How What are the steps? 1. Get out a pen and highlighter--take notes while you read

2. Identify the Author's purpose.
a. Sharing original research?
b. Presenting a new theory?
c. Summarizing to make an argument?
d. Who is the intended audience?

3. Identify the author's main conclusion (thesis) and supportive evidence.
a. Do you agree or disagree with the argument?
b. Which parts are persuasive and which are not?
c. It's helpful to highlight the thesis in one color and the author's evidence
in another color.
d. keep track of and look up unfamiliar terms

4. Decide how this article can best be used to support your thesis
a. Extra evidence?
b. Counterargument? 1. Break it Down and Observe
2. Recognize and Record Patterns
3. Ask Questions What do you notice about what the reader has highlighted? What did she determine as important or potentially useful? What parts of the text are surprising, confusing, repetitive, familiar, or strange? Now Find the Patterns! Now ask some questions! Why? How? What accounts for ...? What's the significance of ...? For Example: Question: What is the significance of the title,"The Cave"?

Working Thesis: Whether or not "The Cave" is a literary or historical allusion, it signifies a dark place wherein the narrator is trapped throughout the duration of the song and potentially for the rest of eternity. In Summary If you remember anything, remember this: 1. Read EVERYTHING with a pen or highlighter in hand.

2. Observe/Annotate, Identify Patterns, Ask Questions.

3. Read Comparatively.

4. Have fun with it and be creative! Thesis Crafting Workshop: February 12 Take a Closer Look Conflict is the basic foundation for Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Much of this conflict results from a distinct division of classes and is portrayed through personal relationships, for example the unfriendly relationship between the higher-class Lintons and the lower-class Heathcliff. Conflict is also portrayed by the appearance of characters the setting. The division of classes is based on cultural, economic, and social differences, and it greatly affects the general behaviour and actions of each character.

The setting of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange provides a clear example of social contrast. While the Heights is depicted as simply typical and "domestic," the Grange is described as a "scene of unprecedented richness". Each house is associated with behaviour fitting the description. For example, when Catherine is taken into the Grange, she experiences drastic changes, thus going from a "savage" to a "lady". While at this house, she rises in status, learns manners, and receives great privileges such as not having to work. Heathcliff, on the other hand, learns to classify himself as a member of the lower class, as he does not possess the qualities of those at the Grange. Thesis Crafting Creating an awesome thesis statement is a piece of cake. Talk first, write later. What is a thesis statement? What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement is NOT: A factual statement or topic sentence: The Three Types: Expository: Expository: Bad Expository Example: Analytical: Bad Analytical Example: Argumentative: Should Concordia students be required to attend chapel? Despite the Differences and Variations All Thesis Statements: Thesis Identification Game If God is all-good and all-powerful,
why do people suffer? A. This paper will answer why there is so much suffering in the world.

B. While earthly suffering is undoubtedly a result of a fallen world, the bible also makes it clear that through suffering, God teaches us about compassion, trust, and the need for a Savior.

C. Though we ostensibly abide within a world succumb to depravity as shown in the horrible tragedies that have occurred within the past 100 years, God tells us that suffering can be good. If God is all-good and all-powerful, why do people suffer? How were women treated in Ancient Greece? How were women treated in Ancient Greece? A. By reevaluating biased patriarchal interpretations of Homer's Iliad, one can see that Archaic Grecian society was not as misogynistic as historians once believed.
-Guides the reader.
-Makes a claim.
-Specific and narrow
-Is interesting and demands further explanation How does Steinbeck characterize Tom in
The Grapes of Wrath? A. Through the use of imagery and diction, Steinbeck reveals Tom's noble conscious and characterizes him as a rebellious--albeit rash--young man. How does Steinbeck characterize Tom in The Grapes of Wrath? A. Through the use of imagery and diction, Steinbeck reveals Tom's noble conscious and characterizes him as a rebellious--albeit rash--young man.

-Makes a claim with reasons
-Simple

B. Tom is both noble and rebellious, as Steinbeck shows through the use of imagery and diction.

-Makes a claim with reasons
-Simple

C. Though Steinbeck characterizes Tom as rebellious and often rash, he also reveals his noble conscious through imagery and diction.

-Makes a claim with reasons
-Simple When you read a passage, how much do you have to read in order to understand the purpose of the piece? What is the purpose of writing an essay? Definition: A short statement, usually one sentence, that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, etc., and is developed, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence. A thesis statement: -Answers a question/states the conclusions you have reached about a topic.
-Makes a promise to the reader about scope, purpose, and direction.
-Is focused and specific enough to be proven within the boundary of your paper.
-Is relevant and worthy of explanation.
-Can appear anywhere in the paper, but is usually at the end of the first paragraph. -Is the Foundation
-Is the Road Map
-Is the Spine
-Is the Glue A Topic: A long and complex explanation: Creationism vs. Evolutionism There are many differences between Creationism and Evolutionism. The creation-evolution debate is a recurring cultural debate, most prevalent in the United States wherein Creationists dispute over the common descent of humans and animals as displayed in modern palaeontology and wherein Evolutionism is undisputed fact in the scientific community ... Analytical: Argumentative: Presents all the facts regarding a certain issue to the reader. Writer should put down all sides so that a reader can form his or her own opinion. Breaks down and issue or idea into component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the reader. Makes a claim about a topic and justifies the claim with specific evidence. The goal is to convince readers that the claim is true based on the evidence provided Presents the facts. Concordia's alcohol policy is ineffective at preventing underage drinking. Better Expository Example: While some disagree with it's effectiveness, Concordia University Irvine's new alcohol policy was put into place in an effort to prevent underage drinking on campus, to reduce incidents of student binge drinking, and to protect the school's Christian identity. Breaks down the issue. Concordia's student activities are boring. Better Analytical Example: An analysis of Concordia student interests, as recorded in a recent student-wide survey, reveal that the current on-campus student activities do not appeal to the majority of students living on campus. A Question: Why don't they teach Creationism in public schools?
Why did the administration put the new alcohol policy in place at Concordia? Why is attendance so low at Concordia's on-campus student activities? makes a claim. Bad Argumentative Examples: There are many reasons why Concordia students should not be required to go to chapel. I agree that Concordia students shouldn't be required to go to chapel. Better Argumentative Example: Because the teachings of Martin Luther, which are supported by biblical evidence, maintain that faith in Christ comes through the Holy Spirit alone and cannot therefore be coerced or legislated, Concordia students should not be required to attend Chapel services. Seek to answer a question
Are specific yet simple
Serve as a guide for the reader
Require a paper for further explanation A. This paper will answer why there is so much suffering in the world.
-Fails to guide the reader.
-Too vague.

B. While earthly suffering is undoubtedly a result of a fallen world, the Bible also makes it clear that through suffering, God teaches us about compassion, trust, and
our need for a Savior.

-addresses a counterargument.
-uses specificity and focus
-makes a claim and guides the reader

C. Though we ostensibly reside in a world succumb to depravity as shown in the horrible tragedies that have occurred within the past 100 years, God tells us that suffering can be good.
-language is unnecessarily complex.
-scope is too broad to cover in a short paper ("past 100 years" and "God tells")
-"Good" is not specific enough A. By reevaluating biased patriarchal interpretations of Homer's Iliad, one can see that that Archaic Grecian society was not as misogynistic as historians once believed.


B. How can differing interpretations of historical and literary evidence give better insight into the position of women in Greek society?


C. Women in Ancient Greece endured many hardships and difficulties. B. How can differing interpretations of historical and literary evidence give better insight into the position of women in Greek society?
-A thesis should be an answer, not a question
-"Greek society" is to vague a term

C. Women in Ancient Greece endured many hardships.
-Too vague.
-Doesn't guide the reader.
-Is to obvious a statement. B. Tom is both noble and rebellious, as Steinbeck shows through the use of imagery and diction. C. Though Steinbeck characterizes Tom as rebellious and often rash, he also reveals his noble conscious through imagery and diction. In Review ... A Thesis Statement: Often = Claim + Reasons
Answers a question/states conclusions about a topic.
Makes a promise to the reader about scope, purpose, and direction.
Is focused and specific enough to be answered within the boundaries of your paper.
Is typically located at the end of the first paragraph. A Formula that Often Works: Claim + Reasons = Thesis Statement Another Resource: Thesis Statement Generator http://corptrain.phoenix.edu/thesis_generator/thesis_generator.html Discussion What is a topic sentence?

What does it accomplish in an academic essay?

Where is it typically found in each paragraph? So a Topic Sentence Can ... 1. Identify the precise subject (and claim) of the paragraph to come.

2. Set the writer up to elaborate on one key component of the thesis.

3. Propel the argument (often with a question)

4. Recap or synthesize arguments from previous paragraphs before complicating them.

5. Pivot the writer's argument.

6. Prepare the reader for a change.

7. Signpost. Orwell artfully employs figurative language and personification to illuminate people's inhumanity to one another, thereby prompting the reader's sympathy and self-examination. Despite his insistence on shared moral responsibility, however, Orwell's depiction of race and nationality nevertheless reflect his own Eurocentric values. The Thesis: -Analyzes the rhetorical function of Orwell's figurative language and personification.

-Identifies the subsequent effects on the reader.

-complicates the reading by revealing a counterintuitive pattern. Write your own topic sentences based on this thesis: While some disagree with it's effectiveness, Concordia University Irvine's new alcohol policy was put into place in an effort to prevent underage drinking on campus, to reduce incidents of student binge drinking, and to protect the school's Christian identity. Summary Topic Sentences ... -Elaborate on a key part of the thesis.
-Identify the main idea or claim of the paragraph.
-Focus the scope of the paragraph.
-Prepare the reader for a change or sequence (signposting).
-Complicate (or pivot) the argument.
-Synthesize earlier paragraphs in order to propel the argument. *Hint: Split thesis into sections first (there are four parts to this thesis that need to be explained in the paper). Colons : Dashes - + - = -- Commas Separate items in a series of three or more: I'm obsessed with cake, ice cream, and candy.

My grandma asked us to whip up some cream, cook the waffles, and cut up some juicy strawberries. Separate coordinate adjectives, which are of equal importance and modify the same noun: My grandmother is a crafty, intuitive, clever cook. After an introductory word group: Near the sushi restaurant at the end of the street, my friends discovered an awesome coffee shop. To distinguish parenthetical expressions, names in a direct address, and interjections: Those cookies, so far as we know, are both gluten free and vegan. Separate the major portions of dates and geographical areas: We get the shipment of olive oil from Athens, Greece on Friday, July 30, 2013. Signals the introduction of a direct quotation and separates the speaker's identity from the direct quote. "I love honey," said Winnie the Poo. Help signal contrasted items: Unlike Bill, Ian loved all kinds of cheese. Prevent Confusion: Chefs who can, cook for their families as often as possible. To separate nonrestrictive modifiers and appositives: Restrictive = essential information (therefore no commas)
Nonrestrictive = non-essential information (needs commas) I really need to attend a Writing Center workshop, my professor says I struggle with grammar. What's wrong with this sentence? Why is proper punctuation so important? Punctuate this sentence: A woman without her man is nothing. A woman: without her, man is nothing.

A woman, without her man, is nothing. Separate independent clauses that are connected by a coordinating conjunction: My diet consists only of chocolate chip cookies, and my doctor says I had better start eating some vegetables. I'll stop eating cookies when vegetables start to taste better or when I find a good recipe for brownies. Dependent Clause No comma! Acceptable: The menu offered a choice of chicken, beef or pork. Confusing: After dinner, I was so hungry I ordered pie, custard, a latte with whipped cream and cheesecake bites. When we had finished eating, the waiters put on a show. The following sentences contain intro. phrases that function as adverbs (tell who, what, where, when, why, or how). Exception: In no time the waiter brought out our food. The following sentence begins with a participle phrase describing the noun that follows it. Hidden beneath mounds of meatballs, the spaghetti noodles were barely visible. She ordered a rich chocolate layer cake. cumulative adjectives Forgive me, Ms. Crocker, for saying that my mother's biscuits are better than yours. Oh, no, the cook never adds salt to this dish. "If I have to eat one more bite," announced George, "I'm going to explode." The children wanted salty, not sugary, food. Everything in the kitchen we feared might happen, happened. The song "Food, Glorious Food" is from my favorite musical and always makes me hungry. My very favorite song, "Food, Glorious Food," always makes me hungry. Separate independent clauses from dependent clauses if they are long and complex or if one or both of them contain internal commas: The best pizza places are Imo's, with its awesome thin crust, melty cheese, and spicy sauce; Dewey's, with its impressive menu and specialty salads; and Pointer's, with its extra fresh peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Common Misuses: Unless you brush your teeth within ten or fifteen minutes after eating; brushing does almost no good. To connect independent clauses that are closely related, but that lack a coordinating conjunction: Comma Splice: The cupcakes are great, you should make some every week. Fixed: The cupcakes are great; you should make some every week. The cook loved to use sumac; a popular spice from in the middle east. Some of my favorite foods come from Italy; pasta, pizza, and garlic bread. To signal a list, summary, specific example, formal quote, and after formal introductions: My roommate hates my two favorite foods: broccoli and carrots. Consider the words of Chef Bonnie: "You can never use too much butter." The ingredients are as follows: sugar, milk, and butter. Common Misuses: *A colon must be preceded by a full independent clause. Some important vitamins are: Vitamin A, thiamine, and vitamin C. Vegetarian tacos usually contain beans such as: black, pinto, or red. Less formal than a colon and more dramatic. Set off words or word groups that interrupt the main sentence structure or to show emphasis: In my hometown the best pizza restaurants--Imo's, Dewey's, and Pointer's--are much healthier than chain pizza joints.



Everything that went wrong--from the salty soup to the kitchen fire--we blamed on Tom. Signal a sharp turn in thought or interrupted speech: I have never burnt a batch of cookies--except that one time. Common Misuses: Marie discovered cayenne pepper, and later used it in her salsa. It was hard, crunchy, bread. Rachael Ray's cookbook, The Book of Burger, contains no vegan recipes. Pancakes are my favorite breakfast food, they are especially yummy covered in strawberry jelly.
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