Posted: September 18th, 2017




For this essay, you will pick one essay from 50 Essays – one that we have read or will read in the coming weeks. Your assignment is to decipher one argument/theme the author is writing about and form your own argument (thesis) about the text. You will use quotes from the essay to back up your thesis and you will write responses (which provide analysis) to the quotes you choose. We will be writing this time for an academic audience—best imagined as your professors and other college-educated people—who have certain expectations about what makes a “reasonable” response to a written text. Academic writing values certain kinds of response that are both respectful of a text’s author and stay true to the points the author is making.  As a result, this essay will ask you to write a balanced essay which fairly summarizes and discusses the published essay, while offering your own response to the essay’s ideas. Rather than a pure summary of the essay or a pure reaction based only on your opinions and experiences, you are aiming for more of a “conversation” between you and the author—one that takes your own ideas and the writer’s seriously. I will be looking for how well you form your thesis statement and how well you are able to pick quotes that are applicable and warrant enough of a response/analysis to build a strong argument.

When choosing which published essay you will analyze, it is important to think about which essay(s) affected you the most. Think about which essay(s) caused you to have a strong reaction or caused you to form an opinion.


–           A summary of the social issue you are analyzing and a summary of how this social issue is covered in the essay as well as the author’s argument about that same issue.

–           Your thesis statement. Your thesis should provide your own argument that directly responds to the author’s argument. (It is not enough to simply agree or disagree with what the author is saying. You must include why.)

–           Topic sentences that provide claims and support your thesis. These topic sentences should lead your reader into textual evidence that supports the claim you have made.

–           Appropriate use of relevant quotes and examples from the text.

–           Full analysis of direct quotes and examples.

–           A balance of summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and responding.

–           Your conclusion must make a final point to support your argument and should not repeat any point you have already made.

–           Smooth and clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.

–           Strong organization and an understanding of your structural choices.

–           Little repetition of examples, ideas, and analysis.

–           Effective and correct grammar and punctuation.

–           Proper MLA style and documentation.

–           Essay Length: 4-5 pages



Analysis Essay Structure

All essays need a captivating and engaging introductory paragraph. However, keep in mind that the main purpose of an introduction is to do exactly what it suggests: INTRODUCE! Since this essay is an analysis of another text, you will need to introduce the essay by providing its author and title (in quotation marks), plus a brief summary of the part/thread/idea you will be concentrating on; be sure to include the author’s stance or treatment of the issue. You are then going to transition into your own thesis, in which you need to take a stance yourself: Do you agree or disagree with the author’s stance and answer why? Avoid using the words “agree” or “disagree.” Rather, your thesis should be a direct response to the author’s stance. Your statement will show whether you agree or disagree. If you agree, explain why you agree. If you disagree, explain why you disagree.


Main Points/Body Paragraphs that support the thesis: PIE Structure


P: Make your Point – explain a little bit about it if you have to. Your topic sentence should be an arguable claim that supports your thesis.


I: First and foremost, introduce your Illustration (should be a quotation). Give your reader a little context so they know what they need to know in order to fully understand the quotation (could be when it is said, how it is said, where it is said, why it is said, etc.). The quotation is an example that supports your topic sentence.


E: Explain. First, interpret the quotation so the reader knows exactly what YOU think the quote means. Then explain why it is important! In other words, what does it tell the reader about your point? Why is this significant? Then transition to the second point.


Repeat. Each body paragraph covers a different point of your argument. Your paragraphs should follow PIE structure.

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