Analysis Paper

Our first substantial paper (1400-2000 words) asks you to build on our close reading practices from the Short Analysis and the Literary Analysis. You are welcome to use your work from one or both of those papers as the foundation for this Analysis Paper, or you can analyze a different text. Either way, we will be working toward further developing our close reading and analysis skills, and we will still be addressing the questions and concerns we addressed in the short assignments.

So, as you analyze the text, you should still ground your thinking in the close reading of specific passages and make connections between these passages and the larger purpose or meaning of the text. This paper can build on your work from the Short Analysis or the Literary Analysis by addressing one or both of the following sets of prompts and questions:

  • Address other passages from the text. Do a close reading of the new passage(s) and then put this work into conversation with your thinking from the short assignment. How do the passages connect? How are they similar or different? How do they both contribute to the larger purpose of the text? Do the passages reinforce one another, expand on each other, or take our thinking in different directions?
  • Put multiple texts into conversation with one another. What do we learn by looking at the texts together? How do they offer us different understandings of or approaches to a particular idea or concept? (For example, all of our articles take up questions of how and whether we should identify with people, how we should address suffering. Kelly’s poems all take up human concerns like loneliness and love with reference to animals.) What happens when we apply one reading to another, when we look at one reading through the lens of another?

Again, our goal here is closeness, so you should thoroughly and precisely explain what aspects of the texts are important and how so. We should end up with a better understanding of the specific passages you address and how they contribute to the text overall.

You should include a list of references or works cited at the end of your writing, and your work should be posted on your class site.