Visual Analysis Essay
This week we begin our study of the final mode of writing, analysis. This is the hardest mode of writing to do because it takes such critical thinking work. Analysis is the process of discovering how and why something works. It is careful study of something to learn about its parts, what they do, and how they are related to each other. It is an explanation of the nature and meaning of something. It is the identification of the pieces within a whole and exploring the ways they connect in order to discover hidden connections and meanings. We really have been doing some analytical work with each of the other modes of writing we have examined.
Analysis is the process of discovering how and why something works. It is careful study of something to learn about its parts, what they do, and how they are related to each other. It is an explanation of the nature and meaning of something. It is the identification of the pieces within a whole and exploring the ways they connect in order to discover hidden connections and meanings.
1. Offer a thesis or topic sentence indicating a basic observation or assertion about the text or passage.
2. Offer a context for the passage without offering too much summary.
3. Cite the passage (using correct format).
4. Then follow the passage with some combination of the following elements:
o Discuss what happens in the passage and why it is significant to the work as a whole.
o Consider what is said, particularly subtleties of the imagery and the ideas expressed.
o Assess how it is said, considering how the word choice, the ordering of ideas, sentence structure, etc., contribute to the meaning of the passage.
o Explain what it means, tying your analysis of the passage back to the significance of the text as a whole.
5. Repeat the process of context, quotation and analysis with additional support for your thesis or topic sentence.
Your assignment is to compose a formal 700-900 word essay with the focus of completing an analysis of the image by Ester Hernandez. The essay needs to demonstrate a sound pattern of organization. It should follow the conventions of formal academic writing we have been working on all semester.
Think back to the work we have been doing with analytical thinking. Your thesis should reflect your analytical perspective and then the body paragraphs should use logic, specific details, and good transitions to develop your main idea.
Some tips to help guide you as you complete the task…
• Take words seriously. When you compose an analysis, hold writers to a high standard because their ideas may have consequences. Good notions deserve to be identified and applauded. And bad ones should be ferreted out, exposed, and sent packing.
• Make strong claims about texts. Of course, you cannot make claims about texts until you know them inside out. The need for close examination may seem self-evident, but we blow through most of what we read (and see) without much thought. Serious critical analysis does just the opposite; it slows down every notion and magnifies them for careful study.
• Mine text for evidence. Use the words and images as evidence for your own claims.