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Analytical Essay Defined

For EWRT 100B and LART 100 Instructors:

Guidelines for an analytical essay for EWRT 100B. Your essay assignment should ask for analysis, so that the student can show that she/he can take a subject, break it into parts, and examine the parts.

Definition: An analytical essay seeks to explore a central idea or question based on a text(s) and a student's engagement with that text. Key to the analysis is breaking down the text into components and showing the relationship between the subordinate arguments and overall controlling ideas. It must move beyond summary, description, or narration.

An analytical essay

· Responds to and examines ideas from a text or a variety of texts. The text(s) may include the following: an idea, a relationship, essay, novel, poems, movie, lyrics, life story, symbols, icons, or even a physical structure such as a shopping mall, autobiography, journal articles, fiction/non-fiction/creative non-fiction, auditory/visual/tactile media. The essay examines/uses texts. · Is based on a central idea. This idea must be supported by evidence, which may include examples. Quotes and paraphrases may be used but always explained, in order that the essay not simply be a list of quotes. A key component of the essay is that it must show a clear connection of the evidence to the central idea. The essay should exhibit a connection between parts. The essay should follow a logical order of thinking, but it should not follow a formula. · Shows some critical thinking, such as making inferences, interpreting evidence, anticipating readers’ needs, comparison/contrast, synthesis, argumentation, analysis, and/or problem-solving skills. · Demonstrates awareness of counter-argument. The essay clarifies issues or shows why a simple resolution is not possible. The writer demonstrates an awareness of more than one perspective. · Exhibits a clear sense of audience and purpose. · Exhibits the essay writer’s own thinking process and shows a developing sense of originality, creativity, and voice.

 Updated Tuesday, June 20, 2006 at 10:08:37 AM by Marilyn Patton - pattonmarilyn@fhda.edu
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