ENGL112 Week 2 Analytical Writing Lecture Notes

18. April 2016 School 0

Analytical Writing



This week, you will revise your Rhetorical Analysis rough draft before you submit the final version to the Dropbox.

The final draft of the Rhetorical Analysis should reflect improvement and changes from the rough draft which was submitted last week. You will be improving on not just minor errors but substantive ones. The improvement should be in all areas of the paper. The final draft should be 1-2 pages in length.

Below, you will learn about editing terms that you may encounter on your rough draft, how to revise the rough draft, and how to address your instructor’s feedback.


When reading a piece of writing or analyzing a message (such as an advertisement), take everything that you can into consideration: Who wrote or created it? When was it published? What were the circumstances surrounding its publishing? What was going on in history at that point in time? Where was it published? Who was the target audience? Ask every question that you can of a piece of work before analyzing its contents. Only then can you determine if the content is to be believed or how the message should be interpreted. Skepticism can aid you in making good decisions when analyzing potential sources for your writing. Just because something is published does not mean that it can withstand the scrutiny of a jury of academic peers. As a student writer, it is up to you to determine whether a source is worthy of being included in your work, but if you would like a second opinion, you may always ask your professor.

Revising the Rough Draft

You will want to fine-tune your paper to include substantial revisions. Here are some things to consider.

– Start with your topic. After re-reading your paper, look for sentences in each paragraph that stray away from the topic, or ideas that don’t directly focus on the topic. Read your thesis statement again, and scan paragraphs for sentences that don’t persuade the reader. Double check that each topic sentence comes directly from the points in the thesis statement. If your advertisement is similar to the 2005 Red Bull ad example used in the week 1lecture, don’t rattle off points on the origins of soft drinks or the history of the company as these ideas are off topic and don’t persuade the reader of the effectiveness of the ad.

– Consider your audience. Be sure that you have included enough information to persuade your reader regarding your point of view. Because your reader is an educated consumer who has probably heard of or read about your advertisement you can include explanatory information, but don’t overdo it. Check the organization of the paper. The paper needs beginning, middle, and ending, and be sure you developed each one according to the guidelines discussed in the Lecture for Week 1. The introduction must draw your reader to your topic, with a clear thesis statement that lays out the points to be discussed. Appraise the support. Focus the body paragraphs to see that vivid detail is included; which will persuade your reader. If you are using the pictures, visuals, or graphics of an ad for one of the appeals, make sure that you are using enough description so that the reader can “see” the ad without having to click on your link. If you are using words or phrases, include them in beginning and ending quotation marks so that they stand out to the reader; analyze the quoted words to prove that persuasive strategies are being used in the ad.

– Assess clarity and conciseness. Read your paper aloud to be sure that your ideas are logical and clearly presented. Each sentence should have a subject/s and verb/s that are easy to detect.


Writing an analysis requires that you slow down and think about what it is that you really want to say. You might start out with one idea in mind, begin to study the text closely, and realize that your findings have led you in a completely different and unexpected direction. This is fine, as long as you stay within the parameters of your assignment.  Analysis helps you to look at the world around you, your own writing, and that of others in a deeper and more meaningful manner.

Use the skills you’ve developed this week and last week to guide you as you continue to analyze written texts throughout this class.

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