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May 20, 2019

Writing a text analysis: structure, examples & the best writing tips

Subject texts are the text form that we most often encounter in everyday life. Whether newspaper article, leaflet, list of ingredients or guidebooks: Each of these texts represents as many facts and facts as possible for a specific matter. How to correctly analyze text and, as a result, write a really good text analysis, you will find out below.

Structure and examples of a textual analysis

An analysis is, in principle, a process that breaks something down into its individual parts, so that in the end they can be better named and considered. The good thing about a text analysis is that there is a very clear approach that you can stick to and that gives you a lot of orientation. How you do this now with a factual text, is explained here step by step. The following article by Zeit-Online serves as an example.

Preparation

To prepare for the writing process a lot of work is needed. However, that helps a lot and is almost obligatory for a good result. Because only if you have really seen through the text and you understand the mechanisms and the structure, you can write a proper analysis.

Develop your own system

In the beginning you should develop your own system as you work with the text. Before you start writing, you should read the text several times and make the best notes, which posts you like and what you find remarkable or conspicuous. It is important that you feel comfortable with your own system of markings and signs and should understand it after reading. A possible system might look like this.

Example:

  • Highlighter green: keywords
  • Highlighter blue: foreign words
  • Highlighter Yellow: Stylistic features
  • Question marks on the edge: author raises questions.
  • Exclamation mark on the edge: Author answers questions at this point.
  • Looking up foreign words

Always try to catch any foreign words that you do not already know. This is especially important because you should fully understand the text before you analyze it and write the text.

Structure into sections and subheadings

After marking the text you should now divide it into several sections with your own subheadings. This will give you a better overview of the structure of the text and will help you to decipher the spelling and intention of the author.

Write down your thoughts and what you already know about the topic

After reading the text for the first time, proceed systematically. You can now fill in the individual sections of meaning that you may already be aware of, for example with the headline of the text. Write down to this section what you already know about the topic. This facilitates entry into the topic and the subsequent analysis.

Checklist:

  • Did I read the text several times?
  • Is my marking system understandable and comprehensible to me?
  • Have I understood all foreign words?
  • Is the text divided into logical sections and has subheadings?
  • Did I write my thoughts to the text?
  • The introduction

Basically, a text analysis, like most texts, is written in the present tense. Make sure that you always stay in this time.

You begin the introduction with a classic introductory sentence, as you use it for example in a synopsis. In principle, these are again the classic W-questions, which are also used in press releases. The introductory sentence should therefore include the following points.

Who wrote the text?

When was the text written?

What exactly is the topic of the text? Where was the article published? What is the title of the text? What type of text is available?

The introductory part may also contain an arrangement in the context in which the article or text stands or for whom it was written. Also, the main message of the text should be described without quotations and in their own words. Then you can describe your further course of action and your intention with two to three sentences.

Example: The report “There lives something in you”, published in “Zeit Online” on 11.07.2017 and written by Jakob Simmank, is a report about the microbiology of your own body. The text factually explains how many microorganisms are native to the human body and that this is not a cause for concern. In the following analysis, I will analyze the text in terms of content as well as linguistically and stylistically, highlighting its peculiarities.

Checklist:

  • Have I answered all questions?
  • Did I put the text in a context?
  • Did I describe the main message in my own words?
  • Did I go into my further course of action?

Tip: Many write the introduction to their text analysis only after the complete analysis. So you can answer the individual questions of the introduction much more precisely than before the analysis.

The main part

The main part is usually divided into three parts. First, you should write something about the intention of the author. After that, it should be about the exact argumentation of the author, and in the third part, the language used and the style plays a role.

Intention of the author

Here you should clearly emphasize the intention and purpose of the author. Answer questions like here

In what context, for example work or political environment, did the author write the text?

What exactly does he want with the writing?

Which addressees and which readership would he like to address?

Here you should examine the structure of the argument and link it with the intention. The questions that you should answer here to write a suitable text are the following:

  • How is the text structured?
  • How does the author work?
  • How are the arguments of the author structured?
  • Why does he use those arguments in the places where he uses them?
  • Language and style of the text

At this point comes the investigation of linguistic stylistic devices. These are also linked to the findings from the first part, ie the intention of the author. Questions that you can answer here are:

  • Which style figures and rhetorical means does the author use in the text?
  • Why is he doing this right here?
  • What style of language does the author use and why exactly does he do that?
  • Which words, keywords or keywords are the author using and why is he using them?

Checklist:

  • Did I capture the intention of the author correctly?
  • Have I understood all the arguments and presented them logically?
  • Did I explain the stylistic devices correctly?
  • Have I always linked the points above with the intention of the author?
  • The end

The conclusion is perhaps the most pleasant part of the text analysis. Here you can again summarize and classify all your findings in short form. Then you have the opportunity to write your own opinion and to comment on the text. In fact, here you can do the least wrong, since here really only your own view of things is in demand.

Checklist:

  1. Did I summarize the content again briefly and succinctly?
  2. Did I represent my opinion logically and conclusively?