I wanted to write about how important it is to expand your analysis in your essays since I’ve noticed some trends in regards to the essays I’ve recently read for many students’ English classes.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I decided to re-post an entry on analysis by our former Writing Lab tutor, Laura Alguire. I’ve read through it and I think the advice she gives still holds true for me. She gives a lot of helpful advice on how to tailor your analysis, including quotations and evidence, to fit your argument. Make your evidence work for you and not work for it.
Another important thing she covers is giving context for each piece of evidence for your readers. It’s important to imagine the person reading your essay doesn’t have background knowledge of the book you’re writing about, so it’s always helpful to give the reader some background and context not only about the book as a whole, but of the pieces of evidence and quotes that you include. You should, by no means by summarizing or retelling the entire story, but using context to help explain your quotes and build evidence to prove your thesis. As Alguire says,
“In my experience, it helps to imagine my reader as a computer. They know the events of the book, but then need the emotional and stylistic effects to be explained to them. Most importantly, because they’re a computer that explanation needs to be simple, logical, and clearly stated.”
Aside from this, it is important to include enough information in your analysis to not only connect the evidence back to your thesis, but to draw a connection between your evidence and your thesis. This will increase your argument’s credibility and your own credibility as a writer.
She explains all of this in greater detail down below, so be sure to read the older post as well. I promise to have one more original post by the end of the week, but for now……
Read. Write. Grow.
– Mr. S.