Analysis and Expression
In this learning resource we’re going to go through the basics of analysis and written expression!
Whilst these terms get thrown around alot, it’s nice to recap on their meaning every now and then.
The most basic textual analysis is really just composed of these four elements.
Topic | Evidence | Technique | Evidence Analysis
As with any argument, once we have made a claim or proposition we must now provide evidence. In the case of textual evidence, this will usually come in the form of a quote.
A quote serves as evidence of your topic and is a citation taken directly from the text without alteration.
Eg. Emilia attempts to come to the rescue of stranded skiers in spite of the “bone-chilling cold” which cut through the skin “like a blade”.
Analysis of Quote
An analysis of a quote means forming a clear connection between the quote and the topic.
You should expand and elaborate upon your quote to explain why it is demonstrative of your theme or idea and you must go farther than simply restating the literal events which occur in the quote.
Analysis is a broad term so take this with a grain of salt, but generally when your teacher says that you have “poor analysis” in your essay, it means that you did not clearly link the quote with your theme or that you only gave a literal repetition of the quote without going any deeper into it.
Eg. However, in spite of these frigid and painful conditions Emilia insists on helping the stranded skiers and in doing so demonstrates exemplary courage.
Textual Analysis Simplified
Textual Analysis, at its most basic level, is quite a simple four step process.
These are the basic principles of analysis but there is a second struggle. It is not enough to know something. You must be able to express it clearly.
“It doesn’t matter how sophisticated, multilayered or impressive your ideas are if they cannot be communicated.”
Expressing yourself clearly is the singular most important objective of studying English and whilst there are obviously a myriad of techniques to improve your expression, in this learning resource we will only address four basic methods.
Longer Sentences (25 words)
Writing short and truncated sentences can often have the effect of creating choppy and fragmented writing.
Wherever possible, it is best to write at least 20 – 30 word sentences so that you can expand upon your ideas and provide enough information about the subject.
This is a guideline, not a rule.
Flow simply means how well your current sentence links with your previous or following ones. In order to link your sentences you should try to find a central idea or subject from the previous sentence and then restate it or connect it in your current sentence.
Previous Sentence: The conflict between father and son is clearly shown in the awkward car ride between James and Kurt as they drive home in silence.
Current Sentence: This silent drive is significant because it is the first instance in the text where there is a communication breakdown between the characters.
That’s all folks!
We hope that this resource has helped clarify some basic details about analysis and expression though we know that sometimes the internet isn’t enough.
If you’re still feeling a bit bogged down in writing clear analyses Smart Space offers fantastic real-life tutors that can help!
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