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Textual Analysis Assignment

Assignment Summary

This assignment will begin with an interactive response statement, which will focus on your own experience of reading a text. Please choose from the required texts/readings. You will be asked to explore the implications of the assumptions you bring to the reading both for reading texts and for analyzing other areas of interpretation in your daily lives.

Guidelines for response statement:
1. What are your initial reactions to reading the text? (the affective or emotional part of the reading experience)
2. Why did the text have that effect on you? (the contribution of the text AND the contribution of the reader)
3. What effect does the text have on reading? (Some aspects of the text may be the theme, language, metaphors, images, recurring motifs or references, idioms, dialogue, etc.)
4. What effect does the reader have on reading? (take into account your literary assumptions and reading strategies: looking for a consistent theme, using the dictionary, the need for a clear well-developed thesis or plot)
5. What does your response tell about you as a reader? (in terms of the cultural and social forces that shape you)From your response statement, we will proceed from an initial appraisal to a content analysis.

To “locate” a text is to situate it in various contexts. A textual analysis includes development and envelopment of:

1. The original intent of the maker (author), which may include both conscious and unconscious levels of the author’s psyche.
2. The text itself – in both its form and content.
3. The history of reception and response (numerous views that in important ways are constitutive of the overall work).
4. The wider contexts in the world at large: economic, historic, linguistic, and cultural contexts, without which specific meanings could not be generated in the first place.

Your formal analysis should differ from your response statement only in its greater coherence, more formal organization, greater detail, and persuasiveness - - not in its methods of approaching the texts. The theories and assumptions that underlie your response statements apply equally to your more formal textual analysis.

The length of the final draft will be 3-5 pages double-spaced, plus a Works Cited page. Number each page in the upper right corner using the MLA format identified in Critical Thinking, Reading, & Writing. Do not include a separate title page. Do not underline your title, put it in quotes, or use bold/large fonts.

Instructor's Comments

genre textual analysis
course WRT 102
activity type individual essay assignment
skills analysis, generative writing, essay planning
duration n/a
handouts: n/a
contributor: Jon Plaisted