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Humanities Libertexts

2.2: Analyzing a Text

  • Page ID
    5797
  • [ "article:topic", "authorname:rjeffrey", "Analyzing Texts" ]

    WRITTEN TEXTS

    When you analyze an essay or article, consider these questions:

    • What is the thesis or central idea of the text?
    • Who is the intended audience?
    • What questions does the author address?
    • How does the author structure the text?
    • What are the key parts of the text?
    • How do the key parts of the text interrelate?
    • How do the key parts of the text relate to the thesis?
    • What does the author do to generate interest in the argument?
    • How does the author convince the readers of their argument’s merit?
    • What evidence is provided in support of the thesis?
    • Is the evidence in the text convincing?
    • Has the author anticipated opposing views and countered them?
    • Is the author’s reasoning sound?

    VISUAL TEXTS

    When you analyze a piece of visual work, consider these questions:

    • What confuses, surprises, or interests you about the image?
    • In what medium is the visual?
    • Where is the visual from?
    • Who created the visual?
    • For what purpose was the visual created?
    • Identify any clues that suggest the visual’s intended audience.
    • How does this image appeal to that audience?
    • In the case of advertisements, what product is the visual selling?
    • In the case of advertisements, is the visual selling an additional message or idea?
    • If words are included in the visual, how do they contribute to the meaning?
    • Identify design elements – colors, shapes, perspective, and background – and speculate how they help to convey the visual’s meaning or purpose.
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