Posted: April 17th, 2016
Analyzing a Published Work
One of the most important moves academic writers can master is the art of analysis. This assignment will help you to develop the skills necessary to determine the meaning found within a text.
To be clear, the intent of this essay is not to argue for or against the content; instead, we are analyzing what the article does in terms of the following:
purpose, approach, and effectiveness. Assignment
Go to an online newspaper website: Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/, http://www.kansascity.com/, or http://www.nytimes.com/ are a few possible sites, but feel free to use a more local newspaper website. Find an article in the Op/ED section that is argumentative in nature. Use the following questions to guide your analysis:
What is the purpose of the text? In other words, what exactly is the position the article takes and/or what does the author want his or her readers to believe and/or do after reading the article? What strategies does the text use to attempt to achieve its purpose? Give examples from the article. In other words, does the article use facts, examples, experiences, logic, assumptions, data, sources, expert opinion, and so on to prove his or her position? Be sure to give examples. You could also try to determine if the position is presented as more of a Classical argument or a Rogerian argument. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the approach the article used? In other words, what would you have liked to see more of in the article? Less of? What worked? What didn’t work? Do you detect bias that is unreasonable? Does the author use unreasonable assertions, stereotypes, or faulty information to make his or her points? Does the author place the opposition in an unfair light? Does the author distort the arguments of those who disagree? Does the author fail to recognize the weaknesses in his or her own position? Does the author leave out important information? Does the author back up his or her assertions with evidence, or does he or she simply make assumptions? What would most improve the argument? Explain your answers. Remember, we are not arguing for or against the content of these articles; we are analyzing what the article attempts to do, how it does it, and if it does so fairly. We should not be concerned about how we feel about the article.
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