How to Analyse an Essay



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April Fools on Polar Circus
Analysis: Read over your handout on “How to Analyse an Essay” and create point form notes to demonstrate your analysis of the essay.
Then answer the following questions in complete sentences. Remember what I’m looking for when you answer questions: completely address the question, re-read, and use support.


  1. Given the content of the essay why is the title “April Fools on Polar Circus” appropriate?

  2. Roddan writes that “the tango with fear makes me wise.” Does it, in your opinion? Proved phrases that illustrate “the tango with fear.” What evidence is there that it makes the climber “wise”?

  3. Roddan uses two sets of linked images to tell her story: dance imagery and wedding imagery. Outline the development of these ideas by listing the sentences and phrases that Roddan uses for each image.

  4. Although this essay tells a story, it is not an example of short fiction. It is, however, a personal narrative essay. What qualities are personal? What makes it narrative? What characteristics make it an essay?

April Fools on Polar Circus
Analysis: Read over your handout on “How to Analyse an Essay” and create point form notes to demonstrate your analysis of the essay.
Then answer the following questions in complete sentences. Remember what I’m looking for when you answer questions: completely address the question, re-read, and use support.


  1. Given the content of the essay why is the title “April Fools on Polar Circus” appropriate?

  2. Roddan writes that “the tango with fear makes me wise.” Does it, in your opinion? Proved phrases that illustrate “the tango with fear.” What evidence is there that it makes the climber “wise”?

  3. Roddan uses two sets of linked images to tell her story: dance imagery and wedding imagery. Outline the development of these ideas by listing the sentences and phrases that Roddan uses for each image.

  4. Although this essay tells a story, it is not an example of short fiction. It is, however, a personal narrative essay. What qualities are personal? What makes it narrative? What characteristics make it an essay?


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