The Parts of an Analysis Essay

Since I have received several emails regarding the analysis essay, here is a reminder of what you should have noted from Friday’s class:

Introduction in 3 parts:

  1. Make a general observation about the subject of the text.
  2. Provide background/context about what caused the text to be written. What is the occasion? Why is it important?
  3. Write a three-part thesis statement.

Example thesis: In Benjamin Banneker’s assertive letter to Thomas Jefferson the author contrasts Jefferson’s belief in the equality of man with his complacent actions toward slavery in order to move Jefferson to join his cause and work to end slavery.

Body in 5 parts:

(Break Banneker’s letter into 2-3 parts, then do the following:)

  1. Write a topic sentence that mentions the part of the letter being analyzed & its overall purpose
    1. Banneker begins his letter by (insert rhetorical choice)…to remind Jefferson of his noble past actions.
  2. Introduce text evidence of Banneker’s rhetorical choice by providing context.
    1. In the first paragraph Banneker reminds Jefferson of a time when he too was oppressed by a tyrannical force…
  3. Provide specific text evidence of his rhetorical choice (1-2 lines at most).
  4. Analyze how the choice Banneker made affects Jefferson and makes it likely he will agree to help end slavery. This involves using a strong verb (in italics below) to indicate what the rhetorical choice is doing to affect Jefferson. This is also where you earn your grade!
    1. Banneker refers to the tyranny of Britain, which forces Jefferson to recall a time when he too was oppressed. Banneker’s allusion to Jefferson’s past creates common ground from which both men have reason to fight tyranny of any type.
  5. Transition to a second piece of text evidence and repeat #2-4.
  6. Transition to the next major section you are going to analyze.
    1. After Banneker reminds Jefferson of his past in order to establish their common experience, he moves on to quote Jefferson’s own words from the Declaration of Independence to point out Jefferson’s inconsistency, which he will further build on in paragraph 3.

Conclusion in 2 parts:

  1. Return to the general observation you made in the first sentence, reword it more specifically now that you have analyzed Banneker’s choices.
  2. Make a strong statement of the importance of the letter and why we should consider it a great piece of writing. In essence, answer: what greater understanding or realization do we get out of reading Banneker’s letter?
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One Response to The Parts of an Analysis Essay

  1. Pingback: Fall 2014 Digital Literacy In Service | Mr. Almon's Classroom

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