The Analysis Essay

The Analysis Essay
The Analysis
Introduce- What does this mean?
Cite-What is the writer’s purpose?
Explain- What is the effect?
Make a connection between the text and
meaning, purpose, and effect.
For the essay, give your understanding of
meaning, purpose, and effect, and then flesh
out the rhetorical strategies used by the author
Big and Little Question
 Each
prompt will have a main clausewhich is the big question they are asking–
and then a dependent clause- which is
the little question. Usually the big question
is what is their intended effect (what do
they want?) and the small question is the
specific rhetorical strategies they use to
achieve it (how do they get there?).
 What
a passage says is different from
what it does. Make sure you can
distinguish the difference.
 Says= summary of the passage itself.
 Does=the effect of the passage/the
purpose of it
For the Analysis Essay
 Remember
you can use my formula for
times’ sake: (The author) uses meaningful
diction, syntax, and figurative language in
order to (insert his or her specific rhetorical
purpose). You don’t have to– but it’s a
nice fallback and will get you where you
need to go.
Discussing purpose & effect( WHY the author uses
the device or what his/her intended effect is) is
more important than listing terms
Diction= word choice that is meaningful– takes
connotation into account and helps set up a tone,
a mood, or a theme.
Syntax=rules of language– sentence length,
structure, punctuation, word order, active vs.
passive verbs, repetition, etc.
Figurative Language= language that isn’t literal,
i.e. metaphors, symbolism, allusions, etc.
Discussing purpose & effect is always much more important
than listing terms
Read the prompt carefully and make sure you know
exactly what is being asked before you dive right in
(attempt to figure out the Big and Little Questions)
Reading the background information at the top of the
source will help you identify anything strange about a
piece– including if it’s satirical in nature, or if it’s a
bogus source (they have been known to try to trick
students this way in the synthesis essay). This
information can also tell you who wrote the
passage/source, why they’re relevant, and, possibly
most helpfully, can place it in an appropriate historical
context that can get you making connections and
give you a starting point.
Don’t explain the terms
 Remember
your audience
 Your reader knows what polysyndeton is,
asyndeton, etc.
 Your reader is a college professor or an
experienced AP Teacher
 If you can’t remember the technical term,
or freeze up, discuss punctuation or
diction, or ANYTHING you feel might be
purposeful or have an effect
Think like the
College Board
 The
front line and the last line of the piece
will be important
Discuss their function
Rhetorical Analysis :
Just like with the synthesis essay, you never
want to just cut and paste long quotations
into your paper. Use only the part of the
quote you need for your essay. You still must
use direct or indirect quotations (preferably
Pointing out and discussing the INTENDED
EFFECT of any rhetorical device is imperative.
This is why it’s called an analysis paper: you
are analyzing how certain strategies can
improve the author’s writing, not just pointing
them out or naming them.
Let’s look at a good tip sheet:
Drive… AP stuff… Advice for Analysis
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