Analysis is an interpretation of an experience or text, which is supported by examining its foundational details.
Analysis is about exploring possible options. Students who have drawn on observation to generate the option now undergo a thorough examination of where each option might lead (the consequences behind choice), while considering why some choices are better for their intended purpose, audience, or rhetorical situation than others. After students have considered a few options in depth and recognized them as different paths to approach their writing, they are in a position to choose between two or more path-options for their essays.
In this unit, teachers will select several (between two and four) “difficult texts” that will ground a text-based inquiry for an academic audience. This inquiry will form the capstone project of the unit. Student writing should take the form that is appropriate to the writer’s discovered purpose and evidence a clear understanding of audience.
Helpful classroom activities leading up to this project may include lessons on how to engage in critical reading practices and how to use reading for intellectual discovery. Student writing should develop the significance behind the analysis, and teachers should encourage class discussion on thesis statements and organization. Keep in mind that such class discussions must be grounded by the writer’s own goals for the piece, i.e. there is no prescribed structure.