The Study Dude—Four Ways to Improve Your Analysis Papers

The Study Dude—Four Ways to Improve Your Analysis Papers

Your analysis papers could nail perfect grades.  Analysis papers zero in on movies, books, or pieces of writing.  Analysis papers will tear it apart, dispassionately but calculatingly.  And then they draw an assertion, ideally a controversial one.

But first, wisely choose a strategy for your analysis.  So, what are these analysis strategies?  Let’s look at four of them: (1) theory, (2) arguments, (3) rhetorical, and (4) deconstruction.

First, Theory.

Theory loves making your papers shine.

Use “established theory as a basis for analysis.  For supplementing your analysis with a theoretical framework, choose a particular philosophical, religious, or psychological theory and establish connections between this theory and analyzed source” (EssayShark, 2017, 13%).

Before choosing a theory, you might want to see what theories are popular in your department’s graduate program.  Better yet, do what a fellow grad student of mine did: find out the popular theories and then read up on the ones you find most appealing.  Yes, this grad student read theoretical book after theoretical book.  My guess is he is a professor now, reading even more theory books in some prestigious university.  And I know your potential is out of this world, just like his was.

Second, Arguments.

Dissect arguments when nothing else will do.

“Analyzing the arguments of the source.  If your primary task is to go through the arguments developed by the author and critically evaluate them, you should highlight the main differences between these arguments, identify their strong and weak points, and provide a balanced, unbiased overview of these arguments without supporting any of them” (EssayShark, 2017, 13%).

Identifying strengths and weaknesses of arguments can be tricky.  You might get lucky and find a wealth of articles that analyze the source’s arguments.  You can take the point of views that seem strongest to you, or that have a lot of support, and use them to structure your own arguments.  But remember, your analysis must not reveal a bias.  Think like Spock balancing a scale of arguments.

If you catch yourself forming a bias, then research opposing views.  Not only will this keep you in neutral territory, but it will also strengthen your ability to consider views that go against your own.

Analyzing arguments is kind of tricky in academia.  You don’t want to say much of anything unless you have a citation to back up your view.  That is, unless it’s an opinion piece.  But, once you master the analysis of arguments, you’ll surely hold the power to out-debate anyone.

Third, Rhetorical

“Rhetorical analysis.  In this type of analysis, your prior task is to concentrate on the text, the use of rhetorical strategies and the author’s professionalism.  To do this, you should read the text several times consciously, identify the rhetorical devices, and find out whether their usage is persuasive enough.  Do not forget about the TRACE rule ‘Text, Reader, Author, Context, and Exigence’ and establish connections between all of these elements” (EssayShark, 2017, 13%).

Rhetorical devices include hyperbole, metaphor, simile, and many more.  If you do a search for rhetorical devices, you’ll find lists of them.

The great news is that by mastering rhetorical devices, your writing grows even more polished.  Great writing marks the gold standard for grad students.  If you write well and study hard, you should have uncapped potential in many disciplines.  You may even claim a PhD.

Fourth, Deconstruction.

Deconstruction is a smart choice.

“Deconstruction approach.  This type of analysis is oriented on destroying the traditional points of view through critical evaluation of the source.  Indeed, deconstruction represents the rebuilding of the source, dividing it into a variety of fragments and analyzing each of these elements.  This approach helps to find the small details which make up the whole.  The representative example of deconstructive analysis is looking for the conflicts, contradictions, multiple meanings, and errors in the books with brilliant reputations.  For instance, you may analyze the weak points of Gatsby as a character in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to destroy the popular thoughts and suggest a non-standard analysis of the plot” (EssayShark, 2017, 13%).

I did a deconstruction of the book Heart of Darkness.  My professor said the book wasn’t racist, nor were the characters.  Yet the book referenced a troubling reference to black people: the n-word.  I dissected every reference to black people to discover the n-word was used to scold or put down the person.  When the black person was offering a service or being pleasing, more positive references occurred.  That to me indicated the book had racist pretences.  My professor argued that the book wasn’t racist—just the characters.  But at least the deconstruction changed his view.

So, those are four tactics for analyzing a movie, book, or piece of writing.  You’ve got the stuff to shine already, being that you’re an AU student.  These four strategies will simply add luster to your analysis papers—and secure you even higher grades! Who said perfect wasn’t a goal?


EssayShark.  (2017).  Essay Becomes Easy Part I Analysis * Persuasive * Classification * Evaluation Reflective * Narrative * Compare and Contrast Essays.  [Kindle Unlimited].  Retrieved from

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