Analyzing a reading consists of breaking it down into different parts and examining what those different parts are trying to say. When analyzing in an essay, you describe those different parts to communicate your interpretation of meaning of the reading.
In-Class Exercise: Analyzing a Persuasive Article
Your instructor will provide an article for this activity.
- Read this article, using SQ3R.
- Using techniques similar to what we used for annotation of Fact and Opinion, highlight and annotated this article to identify the two sides of the argument being presented. Use a different color for each side of the argument to make sure you keep the ideas clear to address in your future writing about this article.
Now that you have experience analyzing the messages in a text, it is important to learn how to identify various types of messages. One type you will likely encounter in the future is the persuasive message. Persuasive messages are often conveyed in texts that seek to create social change through drawing awareness to a social problem with the goal of solving it. The strategy below will help you begin examining persuasive messages.
Follow these steps to effectively analyze an argument. Write full sentences for each item on the checklist.
- Identify Author’s Thesis – A direct statement of Author’s Point/Argument. (Or was this an inferred main idea?)
- Supporting Details – How did the author support this point? Opinions, facts, statistics, persuasive language, testimony, etc.
- Determine structure and pattern of organization.
- Identify the author’s Worldview, Purpose, and Intended Audience.
- Identify the Author’s Tone and give examples.
- Identify any Evidence of Bias, or Objectivity.
- Identify Facts/Opinions
- Evaluate 2-3 facts.
- Make reasonable inferences, and explain what those are.
- Reflect/Connect to the ideas presented.
- Was argument effective? If not, what would have made it more effective?
- Form your opinion.
Unit 5 Review
Write a brief summary of the relevant information from each subsection. Then, write a sentence or two about what stood out to you in each subsection.
- 5.1 Understanding Literacy
- 5.2 Cross-Disciplinary Literacy
- 5.3 Understanding Analysis and Persuasion