In reading a difficult text, it is very important to identify the original question of the author and conclusions. First, take a look at the initial paragraphs and paragraphs of the conclusion. This should give you an idea of the scope of the argument of the author and of his method. In general, the author gives a plan of her work in the introduction. With these concepts in mind, it is easier to identify the main ideas of the text you are reading for the first time.


Then re-read the text carefully. Often it is advantageous to write for yourself, a small diagram of the argument of the author as you read. Clear the main argument and side arguments of each paragraph and rewrite them in a simplified manner. After reading all the text, you'll end up with a short shot, clear and concise reasoning of the author. Finally, pay special attention to the following information:


• The difference between the main thesis and arguments employed used to support it. Do not confuse the two!

• The main terms used by the author. Often, the author will redefine a word or phrase that is different from its conventional use.

• What are the arguments of the author? Are they justified?

• Are there any ambiguous expressions, ideas badly expressed? Often these two pence points allow us to make a good review of the argument.


Finally, if you have not understood the message the first time (this is often the case, even for doctoral students), you must proofread, proofread, proofread! It takes a lot of concentration, careful analysis and patience. University life often brings much frustration and so it is very useful to have an anti-stress ball in your office!



Approaches to Writing a Textual Analysis


A. Introduction:


Your introduction should include three things. First, the exposure of the problem. What is it? What is the issue? Do you criticize or defend the argument? Here it is very important to clearly state your problem. If your statement is not accurate, too general, you will have great difficulty in preparing your work and your argument will remain incomprehensible. Second, explain the methodology that your work will follow. "I'm going to do X, Y, Z for reasons A, B, C". And third, what is the conclusion of your work?


B. Development:


In the development, discuss the problem mentioned in the introduction. Follow the path you specified without adding any other information that does not serve to support your analysis.


Put into perspective the problems text. Then expose the logic of the argument and explain why you agree or disagree with the author, by supporting your comments. Here, you have to rely on modes of reasoning of the author or those borrowed from other authors (properly cited), but especially your own reasoning. When quoting an author, explain in your own words why the quote is relevant to your argument. It is not a summary of the text. For cons, I do not expect new theory or an original contribution to human thought. Good work proposes a modest point and the clear and rigorously argued. Develop your own arguments with examples, against-examples and illustrations. Finally, anticipate the arguments against. Introduce potential weaknesses of your text and show why your thesis still holds.


C. Conclusion:


At the end, go back to the original question and summarize progress through the logic of your argument. What your argument leads there? Do your findings pose another problem? Or is it that these findings may lead to open up another problem?



Make an outline

Before you begin writing any drafts, you need to think about the questions: In what order should you explain the various terms and positions you'll be discussing? At what point should you present your opponent's position or argument? In what order should you offer your criticisms of your opponent? Do any of the points you're making presuppose that you've already discussed some other point, first? And so on.  The overall clarity of your paper will greatly depend on its structure. That is why it is important to think about these questions before you begin to write.


I strongly recommend that you make an outline of your paper, and of the arguments you'll be presenting, before you begin to write. This lets you organize the points you want to make in your paper and get a sense for how they are going to fit together. It also helps ensure that you're in a position to say what your main argument or criticism is, before you sit down to write a full draft of your paper. When students get stuck writing, it's often because they haven't yet figured out what they're trying to say.


Give your outline your full attention. It should be fairly detailed. (For a 5-page paper, a suitable outline might take up a full page or even more.)  Making an outline is at least 80% of the work of writing a good paper. If you have a good outline, the rest of the writing process will go much more smoothly.


Other tips:


• Use plenty of examples and definitions: it shows that you have grasped the idea and make your work easier to understand. Also, if you make a statement as follows: "we should not kill animals because it is inhuman", you must define what you mean by "inhuman".


• Use simple words and phrases. By analyzing a difficult text, often times we lose ourselves in the language of the author. Use a concise, accurate and easy to understand language.


• Anticipate objections to your arguments if you can design objections to your arguments, make them part of your work.


I take several notions of James Pryor, a professor at Princeton University. I strongly advise you to refer to the website of James Pryor exposing these ideas detailed way....




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