Essay Analysis Unit Analysing Essay Writing In this unit you will learn how to break down and analyse the various parts of an essay, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the author's argument. There are 6 parts to this evaluation process Thesis Begin by reading the essay, keeping an eye out for the author’s central argument or thesis. The thesis can be either explicit – stated openly (usually in the first few paragraphs) or implicit – implied or suggested through a series of sentences Read “It’s Time to Think About Visors” on p. 248 and do questions 1 a,b,c Thesis examples Explicit: Experiential learning is the most effective way to raise and educate today’s youth. Implicit: A combination of the following: Title: “It’s Time to think About Visors” “We need to imagine accident as part of the game and generate plans to minimize it.” “Safety doesn’t need to straitjacket performance. Usually, it enhances it.” “Would wearing a visor have made most of today’s eye injuries less likely? Yes.” Thesis con’t… The thesis statement is the controlling or central argument in the essay. It should be: Provides the logical core of the essay Answers the essay question or issue Makes a specific argument Is ONE main idea, expressed in one, or at most two, sentences Purpose and Audience Any essay is specifically targeted to address a particular issue or topic, but is usually also directed at a specific group. Identifying the purpose and audience can help you identify the thesis, tone and other elements in the essay. Knowing the purpose and audience is key to assessing the overall effectiveness of the essay. Purpose and Audience Read the essay “Chicken Hips” on page 319 and answer questions 1 a,b,c,d,e and 2. Identify the purpose and audience of this essay. Organizational Patterns Organizational Patterns refer to the overall structure or organization of the essay. This means “how” the author goes about arranging their points or evidence for maximum impact and effectiveness. There are 5 major organizational patterns: Cause and Effect Chronological Classification Compare and Contrast Definition Organizational Patterns con’t… Cause and Effect Chronological Classification Compare and Contrast Definition Organizational Patterns con’t… Read “Whose Lathe” on p.256 Answer questions 1 a, b and 3 Take notes on the 5 organizational patterns from question 3 What are some advantages and disadvantages of each pattern? Methods of Development Methods of Development describes how an author supports their main points in the essay In a formal literary essay, quotations are the chosen method of development, but in a persuasive, personal or expository essay, several different methods of development may be employed. Methods of Development con’t… Example Anecdote Analogy Quotation or reference to authority Facts or statistics Personal experience Comparison/contrast Cause and effect Methods of Development con’t… Read the essay “Dis?Ability on the Internet” on page 315 and do questions 1 a,b,c,e and 3. Find 4 different methods of development that the author uses to support her points in the essay. Ensure you include excerpts from the text to support your answers. Tone The tone of the essay reflects the author’s attitude toward the subject matter in question. The tone is revealed through the author’s specific use of diction or choice of words. For example, using “hovering” instead of “attentive” changes one’s view of a parent; using “bizarre” rather than “interesting” to describe a question, changes our peception of the teacher. Tone con’t… Read the essay “Progress” on page 272 and answer questions 1 a,b,c 3. Using the handout of tone words, choose three words to describe Alan Lightman’s tone, and provide 2 examples of specific diction which illustrates it. Literary/Stylistic or Rhetorical Devices These three terms all refer to essentially the same thing, but refers to the objective of the device. These devices include elements such as alliteration, allusion, metaphor, hyperbole, rhetorical questions, etc. Literary/stylistic devices are used to create mental images and draw attention to different segments of the essay for the purpose of illustrating a concept or reinforcing a point. Rhetorical devices are similar, but focus on reinforcing the persuasiveness of the essay through emphasis, illustration or imagery. (Rhetoric means the art of persuasion) Literary/Stylistic Devices Read the essay “A Comparison” by Sylvia Plath on page 293 and do questions 1 a, b, c and 2. Find three different stylistic devices in the essay and describe the impact of each on the essay.
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