Analyzing a Text
When you analyze an essay or article, consider these questions:
- What is the thesis or central idea of the text?
- Who is the intended audience?
- What questions does the author address?
- How does the author structure the text?
- What are the key parts of the text?
- How do the key parts of the text interrelate?
- How do the key parts of the text relate to the thesis?
- What does the author do to generate interest in the argument?
- How does the author convince the readers of their argument’s merit?
- What evidence is provided in support of the thesis?
- Is the evidence in the text convincing?
- Has the author anticipated opposing views and countered them?
- Is the author’s reasoning sound?
When you analyze a piece of visual work, consider these questions:
- What confuses, surprises, or interests you about the image?
- In what medium is the visual?
- Where is the visual from?
- Who created the visual?
- For what purpose was the visual created?
- Identify any clues that suggest the visual’s intended audience.
- How does this image appeal to that audience?
- In the case of advertisements, what product is the visual selling?
- In the case of advertisements, is the visual selling an additional message or idea?
- If words are included in the visual, how do they contribute to the meaning?
- Identify design elements – colors, shapes, perspective, and background – and speculate how they help to convey the visual’s meaning or purpose.