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Analysis Essay

To analyze means to figure out the parts of a whole and examine the parts.  To write an analytic essay, the student should figure out what the parts are, examine them, come to come conclusion (evaluate in some way) and use that conclusion as the basis for the essay.  So what will you analyze?  You can choose any of the following types of items from the McQuade Atwan text, Popular Writing in America to analyze.  For example, you can choose an advertisement,  a news article, an editorial, an essay.
Be aware that analysis does not mean merely summarizing, nor does it mean arguing the point made in another work.  It means youíre going to come to some conclusion about the work itself.  Advertisements, for example, seem simple, but they are actually rather complex.  Think of the old Joe Camel ads for Camel cigarettes.  One of the ads showed a stylized cartoon camel wearing a fedora and black leather jacket.  We could look at color, art style (not simply a cartoon, but a cartoon with lavish coloring and shading).  One might conclude that this ad is intended to attract children to the idea of smoking, but that would have to be supported by the analysis.  It would be more accurate to show what Joe Camel represents.  He is more sophisticated than, say, most Mickey Mouse representations.  He looks older and why?  The facial characteristics are more complex, giving the character a post teen appearance.  So what?  Thatís for the writer to figure out and explain to the reader.  

Many of the stories, articles and essays are fairly short; I suggest choosing one that isnít too complex.  
Grading:
_____ Focus, thesis, main idea
._____ Development, detail, paragraphing, evidence. 
_____ Organization, clarity, transitions. 
_____ Sentence structure, wording, word choice, style, smoothness. 
(Each preceding item will be given a grade from 0 to 4 and the average of the total will equal your grade). _______
Factors which could reduce your grade: 
_____ Too many spelling or editing errors. 
_____ Too many punctuation errors.