|Analyze: to separate (a material or abstract entity) into constituent parts or elements; determine the elements or essential features of (opposed to synthesize ): to analyze an argument.
to examine critically, so as to bring out the essential elements or give the essence of.
to examine carefully and in detail so as to identify causes, key factors, possible results, etc.
1. The following piece, “The Company Man,” is by the columnist Ellen Goodman. Read the passage and then write an essay analyzing the rhetorical techniques Goodman uses to convey her attitude toward Phil.
2. Read carefully the following autobiographical narrative by Gary Soto. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze some of the ways in which Soto recreates the experience of his guilty six-year-old self. You might consider such devices as contrast, repetition, pacing, diction, and imagery.
3. Read the following passage from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The House of the Seven Gables. Then write a careful analysis of how the narrator reveals the character of Judge Pyncheon. You may emphasize whichever devices (e.g., tone, selection of detail, syntax, point of view) you find most significant.
4. In the following passage from a letter to her daughter, Lady Mary Wortley Mondagu (1689-1762) discusses the education of her granddaughter. Read the passage carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze how Lady Mary uses rhetorical strategies and stylistic devices to convey her views about the role knowledge played in the lives of women of her time.
5. Read carefully the following passage from Meena Alexander’s autobiography, Fault Lines (1993.) Then, in a well-organized essay, analyze how Alexander uses language to explore and represent her fractured identity.
6. The following letters constitute the complete correspondence between an executive of the Coca-Cola company and a representative of Grove Press. Read the letters carefully. Then write an essay analyzing the rhetorical strategies each writer uses to achieve his purpose and explaining which letter offers the more persuasive case.
7. Read the following two passages about Florida’s Okefenokee Swamp carefully. Then write an essay in which
you analyze how the distinctive style of each passage reveals the purpose of its writer.
8. Read the following menu from Chef Lee Chinese Restaurant carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the menu’s author used tools of language to achieve his purpose, and then choose one entrée and one appetizer that you would most want to eat.
In his Second Inaugural Address, given one month before the end of the Civil War, United States President Abraham Lincoln surprised his audience which expected a lengthy speech on politics, slavery, and states’ rights with a short speech in which he contemplated the effects of the Civil War and offered his vision for the future of the nation. Read the address carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the rhetorical strategies President Lincoln used to achieve his purpose. Support your analysis with specific references to the text.
Alfred M. Green delivered the following speech in Philadelphia in April 1861, the first month of the Civil War. African Americans were not yet permitted to join the Union army, but Green felt that they should strive to be admitted to the ranks and prepare to enlist. Read the speech carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the methods that Green uses to persuade his fellow African Americans to join the Union forces.
The passage below is an excerpt from a letter written by the eighteenth century author Lord Chesterfield to his young son, who was traveling far from home. Read the passage carefully. Then, in a well written essay, analyze the rhetorical strategies that Chesterfield uses to reveal his own values.
The following article is a mock press release from The Onion, a publication devoted to humor and satire. Read the article carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the strategies used in the article to satirize how products are marketed to consumers.
The passage below is an excerpt from Jennifer Price’s recent essay “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History.” The essay examines the popularity of the plastic pink flamingo in the 1950s. Read the passage carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze how Price crafts the text to reveal her view of United States culture.
In the passage below from Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World, Scott Russell Sanders responds to an essay by Salman Rushdie, a writer who left his native India for England. Rushdie describes the “effect of mass migrations” as being “the creation of radically new types of human being: people who root themselves in ideas rather than places.” Read the Sanders passage carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the strategies Sanders uses to develop his perspective about moving.
In the following passage from The Great Influenza, an account of the 1918 flu epidemic, author John M. Barry writes about scientists and their research. Read the passage carefully. Then, in a well written essay, analyze how Barry uses rhetorical strategies to characterize scientific research.
The two passages below, both written by noted contemporary scientist Edward O. Wilson, appear in Wilson’s book The Future of Life (2002). In the passages, Wilson satirizes the language of two groups that hold opposing attitudes about environmentalism. Read each passage carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze how Wilson’s satire illustrates the unproductive nature of such discussions.