Academic Analysis

This short assignment (minimum 600 words) asks you to analyze a scholarly source you find through your own research. You should submit your paper as an attachment via email before class the day it is due. Your analysis should address the following prompts:

  • The first section of your analysis (probably two or three paragraphs) should focus on the main purpose, aim, and argument of the text. First, articulate what the main purpose and argument is. You should then identify the main ideas, claim(s),  reasoning, and evidence supporting the purpose and argument, showing how these various pieces fit together. Be mindful of Toulmin‘s terminology here as well: what warrants (assumptions) underlie the claims and evidence? Does the author offer any data to further support these warrants? Does the author include any counterarguments?
  • The second section should situate this argument within the larger conversation around the topic it addresses. What is the author’s relationship to the topic? How does their perspective compare to others? How would you assess the argument in terms of its effectiveness or ineffectiveness, its benefits or limits? How can we classify the argument drawing on stasis theory?
  • Keep in mind that academic arguments are shaped by disciplinary conventions and expectations. Sociologists make different sorts of arguments and use different sorts of methods, analysis, and evidence than historians or literary critics. To the best of your ability and knowledge, explain how this author’s argument, methods, analysis, evidence, etc. are appropriate for their discipline and academic field. If you are not sure about the disciplinary conventions, explain how this author’s thinking and approach differs from the public sources you have read on your topic.

Also, as you address these prompts, you should aim to incorporate specific quotes from the text in order to support and develop your analysis. You should include appropriate in-text citations and include a “References” page as well (the citations do not factor into the word limit). Our handbook has instructions for citations; use APA citation guidelines.