Textual Analysis/Review Essay

Analysis/Review Essay Guidelines

The focus of the Analysis/Review Essay is on the presentation of a clear and logically structured argument about the meaning or significance of the essay you are analyzing.  The essay, which will be three to four pages in length, will be graded on the originality, sophistication, and logic of this argument, as well as on the clarity of its presentation. The essay should include a title, a thesis statement, well structured paragraphs, and writing that not only clearly explains and presents your argument, but also engages your reader. For MLA essay formatting guidelines, see p. 103 of Good Writing Made Simple.

Please choose one of the topics listed below for your essay.  If you select the first topic, feel free to also choose and name the publication for which you will be writing, e.g., Rolling Stone, Time, The New York Times Book Review, City Tech College Newspaper, etc.  Once you have decided on which publication you are writing for, you will then be writing for a specific audience, i.e., the readership of that publication, and in a specific style, i.e., the “house style” of that publication.  The second topic may or may not lend itself to writing that would suit a particular publication.  If it does, name the publication and tailor the essay to that audience.  If it doesn’t, I would like you nevertheless to think about the audience for whom you are writing this essay. Is the audience yourself?  Your classmates?  The professor?  The general public?  Some combination of all of these?  None of the above?

Analysis/Review Essay

Would you strongly recommend that someone read or not read the essay by Baldwin or King? If yes, why? If no, why not? What are strengths and weaknesses of the essay you have chosen to discuss?

Is there some element—thematic, rhetorical, structural—about the Baldwin or King essay that you believe is crucial to its overall interpretation? Present a close reading of the essay that discusses how this element functions and how it relates to an interpretation of the essay as a whole.

You will need to use textual evidence to support the argument that you are making in this essay. Although we have not yet reviewed the MLA guidelines for textual citations formally in our course, you can consult Good Writing Made Simple pp. 89-91 for some guidance. You will not be graded in this essay, as you will in future essays, on your understanding of and adherence to MLA textual citation guidelines.  You will also want to consult Professor Rodgers' Guidelines for Textual Analysis.