Analyzing a Text Rhetorically Definition of a Text

Analyzing a Text Rhetorically Definition of a Text

Analyzing a Text Rhetorically Definition of a Text A set of symbols that communicates or means something. A text can be

read and interpreted. From the Latin root, texere, meaning to weave Significant Texts in our Lives Can be Analyzed

Religious texts Political texts Legal texts News articles Advertisements Songs Poetry

Photography Personal experiences Dreams

Student papers

Academic articles Memories Speeches Films Books Video games Performances Bodies

Clothes Textual Analysis What does the term analysis mean to you? Analysis

Breaking something down into its essential parts to understand how and why those

parts work together to accomplish something (what + how and why) Versus summary (what) Importance of structure Looking at the relationship between the parts Step 1: Breaking down into essential parts

Step 2: Determining how parts work together Step 3: Determining what is accomplished when parts work together Analysis Involves Interpretation

Analyze: To break something down into its essential parts to determine how those parts work together to accomplish something. We can all see the same parts of the same text working together in the same way, yet we each see

it accomplishing something different. Or perhaps we all see a text accomplishing the same thing, but see it doing so in different ways. There are no wrong or right interpretations of a text. Its a duck!

But there are supported and unsupported interpretations (quotations). Its a tractor! Its a bunny! Questions for Analysis Who is the author/speaker?

What is the purpose of writing? What is the occasion that gives rise to the writing? Who is the intended audience? What is the main argument? What does the nature of the communication reveal about the culture(s) that produced it? What overarching themes or ideas do you notice in the text?

Bryn Mawr College Library, Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts This 1755 copper engraving shows the ruins of Lisbon in flames and a tsunami overwhelming the ships in the harbor.

Different Schools of Thought or Theories

Formalists (symbols) Gender theorists (gender, sexuality, sexualorientation) Marxist theorists (social class)

Race-based theorists (race) Post-colonial theorists (nationality, empire) Psychoanalytical theorists (unconscious) Disability theorists (disability) Happiness theorists (happiness) Rhetoricians (rhetorical situations, language)

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