Textual Analysis

Major Essay 2: Textual Analysis


In this unit, we continue to practice delaying judgment, summarizing texts, and including more detail in our analyses. We add to these skills an initial attempt to uncover implications as a result of an author’s choice of words and syntax. You will apply the METHOD and other Habits of Mind from Project 1.


For this essay, you will write an analysis of a short text.Your essay will initially introduce and then summarize the piece – resisting any interpretive leaps. Next, your essay should thoroughly analyze the text using the Five Analytical Moves (see WA 16-36) and answer the question “so what?” Your analysis should expose possible implications and hidden meanings, as well as important diction. Your essay will then consider some possible interpretations of the text and conclude by forwarding your own plausible interpretive context. Finally, be sure to include a Works Cited page.Your text options can be found in Assignments>Textual Assignment on Bb.


Your essay must:

▪be at least 1000 words and formatted to MLA essay requirements

▪assume a reader not familiar with the text (include sufficient detail)

▪introduce the image, author(s), and context

▪include a detailed and objective summary (description) of the text

▪use specific, concrete language without over-generalizing

▪transition smoothly from summary to analysis

▪adopt the Five Analytical Moves to thoroughly analyze key points of the text,

▪identify interesting, significant, or strange elements of the image and rank these

▪focus on one or two details, examine them, and

▪answer the question, “so what?” to expose implications and hidden meanings, as well as key metaphors and organizing contrasts

▪transition smoothly to presenting some possible interpretations of the text

▪conclude by providing your most plausible interpretive context

▪format your essay according to MLA style requirements and include a Works Cited page

▪cite the text you analyze, and if you choose to draw from any additional texts, you must cite these sources as well

▪summarize, paraphrase, and quote directly from the text

Style Guide

WA: “MLA Style” (p. 227)

MLA 8 Card

After choosing your story that you will analyze for the Textual Analysis, please complete the attached 5 Moves document. (see attachment)

In 50 words:

What did you find different about analyzing a text versus an image? Did it feel more natural? What were some challenges you faced this week?

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