Academic Analysis

This short assignment (700-1000 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:

  • Academic articles situate their arguments in broader conversations around a particular issue or question. They describe this broader conversation and identify other sources that contribute to the conversation. For the first part of your analysis, describe the larger conversation that this article responds to and participates in. What is the main issue or question? Why is it important? What have others said about it?
  • What does this author contribute to the conversation? What is their main argument?
  • How does the author support this argument? What methods do they use to address the issue or question? What sorts of reasoning, analysis, evidence, or examples are offered? Drawing on our recent conversation about epistemology, think about how the author develops a line of reasoning to make a larger argument. What premises support the larger conclusion or argument? What assumptions and beliefs inform the author’s thinking and approach to the topic?
  • 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, focus on describing the author’s approach to key aspects of the text: introduction and conclusion, structure, citations, etc.

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 APA in-text citations and include an APA References page as well. Our handbook has instructions for APA citations.

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