A Basic Guide to Textual Analysis
Analyze the Rhetorical Context
- Who is the writer?
- What is her or his role or position?
- Who is the intended audience?
- What is the exigence which prompted this writer to write?
- What discipline or discourse community does this text seem to be a
Analyze the Textual Features
- What issue is being addressed?
- What position does the writer take?
- What is the author's major claim or thesis?
- Is the claim qualified (does the author hedge)? If so, how?
- What evidence or reasons does the author supply to support the claim?
- How good are these reasons or evidence?
- Why do you trust or distrust the claims and evidence?
- Does the author offer any refutations? If so, of what?
- How effective are the refutations? What makes the persuasive or
Place the Text in a New Context
- How does this text relate to other texts you have been reading?
- How might another writer (or you) use this text?
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All contents copyright (C) 1997. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 7, 1997