As you draft your essay, focus first on creating a clear picture with words. Let the reader see what’s on the page in front of you, then move from your objective description to your thesis: your particular claim, which you will support with textual evidence (words and pictures).
Although you will cite an authoritative secondary source in your revision, you don’t need to integrate that source into your draft. When you begin drafting an analysis, your aim is to examine the primary source (Maus) closely and develop your own interpretation of it. After you’ve done that, you’ll have a better sense of what secondary sources are relevant to your analysis.
For more on secondary sources, see the October 14 blog post, “Citing Secondary Sources.”
Sample Analyses of Visual Texts
- A Writer’s Reference includes a sample student analysis of a coffee advertisement: “Sometimes a Cup of Coffee is Just a Cup of Coffee” (76-78).
- “Wreaths of Reclamation,” by my former student Jacob Palmer, is shorter than your analysis will be. I offer it here as a well-written example of a comparative study of the forces of nature depicted in J.M.W. Turner’s painting Interior of Tintern Abbey and Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.
- “Through a Glass Darkly: Girl at the Mirror and Grover’s Corners,” an essay that I wrote as a model for my students at Lenoir-Rhyne University, is a comparative analysis of Norman Rockwell’s painting Girl at the Mirror and Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town.
- “The Well-Heeled Clichés of Madison Avenue,” an essay that I wrote as a model for my students at CVCC, is a meta-analysis: a study of a sample student analysis included in CVCC’s English 111 textbook, The Norton Field Guide to Writing.
2 thoughts on “ENG 111: Beginning Your Analysis”
Hello my name is Melanie Boyer and I still am having trouble navigating your blog site to complete assignments. I am in your class of ENG-111 FBJ06 and was hoping to ask you how I how to do so on the website.
Melanie Boyer ________________________________
Melanie: (1) on the home page, look for the yellow calendar block on the right, (2) click on October 14, circled in red, (3) click on the title “ENG 111: Citing Secondary Sources,” scroll down to the bottom of the post, and you will see the envelope for posting your reply. Whenever you don’t see the option for posting a reply, you need to click on the title of the post.