Using the critical reading skills practiced in class, you will be writing an analytical essay. In order to analyze a text effectively, you will need to engage in close reading, or reading “between the lines.” This means that you will be choosing representative passages and carefully deconstructing them, highlighting meanings that may not be immediately obvious to fellow readers in order to support your overall interpretation of the text (the thesis statement).
The idea is to reach a deep understanding of the text by examining the writer’s narrative elements (i.e., characters, diction, style, theme, and tone), everything that went into writing the piece. Whatever work you choose, you should first read it carefully (usually more than once) and arrive at your own understanding of what you read (as we have done weekly within our discussion board assignments.) The next step is to see what others have said about it (that’s the research part) and compare your findings with theirs.
Your paper must include the following:
An introduction that provides relevant background information and ends with your thesis statement
A minimum of four body paragraphs, each of which addresses a particular subtopic that relates to your thesis statement
A minimum of three references from reliable, academic sources, all of which are cited at least once in the paper. You should use at least one peer-reviewed source from the library databases.
A conclusion that reaffirms your thesis statement and addresses wider implications
Formatting, citations, and references must all adhere to APA style
Do not rely solely on the instructions you see here. Your instructor will provide a list of texts to choose from and further details in the announcements page, so make sure to check there for complete guidelines regarding your analytical paper.
See the rubric for specific grading criteria.

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