Paper #3: Analyzing a Text
The purpose of this assignment is to better understand how various factors affect the ways
authors craft their arguments. In this paper you will analyze the ways in which authors have
considered the audience, purpose, stance, context, and medium/design when they constructed an
article or essay. Learning to approach a text in this analytical way will help you better understand
how complex texts are written and will familiarize you with using those strategies in your own
persuasive writing.
Write a 5-6 page analysis essay that discusses a particular text as assigned by your instructor.
First, summarize the text’s overall content and scope, and then offer a detailed, well-structured
analysis of how the author has incorporated the needs of the intended audience, a specific
purpose, a particular stance, a larger context, the demands of the genre and of the
Follow these specific steps:
1. Provide relevant information about the text, the author, and the subject.
2. Include a main take-away (thesis) that indicates how your paper is structured and what it
is about.
3. Use appropriate “evidence” for your textual analysis, including concrete details from the
text and in-text citations.
4. Specifically analyze the text’s “rhetorical situation:” genre, audience, purpose, stance,
context, and medium/design.
5. Make sure your paper represents a fair and accurate summary of the text.
6. Use exact quotations and accurate paraphrases to support your claims.
7. Describe in detail what the text says and HOW exactly it says it.
How You Will Be Graded
● 5-6 pages (double-spaced)
● Analysis of the arguments presented by the text
● Focus on audience, purpose, stance, context, genre, and medium/design
● Use of specific examples, quotations and images
● Focused thesis statement supported by evidence
● Careful paragraph organization creates cohesive overall structure
● Accuracy in formatting, grammar, spelling, and mechanics

The text you analyze in your Writing Assignment – Analyzing a Text paper that’s coming up, you can choose one of the following:

–You can choose the longer and very outrageous satirical essay, “A Modest Proposal,” for those who want more of a challenge, an Honors experience. Satire is when you mock someone or some idea with excess, and Swift is very excessive in this essay: (Links to an external site.)

–The second reading choice for your paper is an excerpt from Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey’s love story to southern Utah, and specifically Arches National Park before it became a national park.  His writing is funny and biting and quite beautiful: (Links to an external site.)

–The third reading you can choose is from Betty Friedan’s famous feminist manifesto, The Feminine Mystique, a hard hitting critique of 1950’s gender problems specifically about women (but not only for women): (Links to an external site.)

–And the fourth reading you can choose is an excerpted transcript from Cornel West talkin

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