ENC 1101 Critical Analysis Essay
The purpose of this essay is to identify and analyze a significant issue or artifact in culture. This essay will combine many of the skills you have learned throughout the semester. First, you will identify an important issue or artifact in film, music, television, popular literature, advertising, sports and leisure, etc. Second, decide on a specific focus/thesis for your paper. In order to do so, you will need to do thorough research first to ensure that you understand the issue or artifact in its entirety. Finally, break down the issue into various components and analyze them in your essay.
Characteristics of the Critical Analysis Essay:
provides an engaging introduction that offers the reader some background information on the historical/cultural significance of the topic.
presents a thesis that offers a sophisticated and nuanced analysis of the issue/artifact chosen.
supports the thesis through well-developed paragraphs that are organized strategically.
presents an objective stance by the use of third-person voice.
includes specific details and evidence from primary material (if applicable).
integrates secondary material accessed from TCC Library.
correctly integrates quotations and conforms to MLA documentation and format guidelines.
1100-1500 words (4-5 pages)
Minimum of three secondary sources, including at least one source accessed from TCC library
MLA format for presentation (typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. Times New Roman font, 1� margins) and source documentation (in-text citations and Works Cited page)
Reading and Pre-writing
Much of your work in writing this essay will take place before you begin writing a first draft. The very first thing to do is to engage a sense of whole literacy by combining reading and writing in order to explore your initial feelings/views regarding a potential topic. Follow this plan:
1.Read Examples from Chapter 8 and from the �Evaluations� section of the Textbook.
2.Locate, read, evaluate, and take notes on at least three secondary sources for developing your critical analysis. At least one of the sources must be accessed from the TCC Library.
The following outline offers a suggested guideline for organizing your critical analysis essay:
Introduction (one or two paragraphs)
Use a lead-in hook to engage your readers’ interest. You might use a striking quotation, an interesting statistic or fact, or a related current event. Whatever your choice, the lead-in must be clearly related to the focus you have selected to analyze.
Provide some background that will help your readers understand the focus you are about to discuss.
Present your thesis statement.
Body (minimum of six paragraphs)
Provide specific reasons that support your thesis. Ideally each reason should be developed separately.
Offer concrete examples that illustrate your reasons.
Ideally, your critical analysis should progress throughout the essay. You should organize your essay, consequently, that the most important and interesting support for your thesis comes towards the end.
Consider responding to other perspectives that might be different from yours and make an attempt at refuting or weakening such perspectives to further strengthen your thesis.
Pay attention to proper paragraph development by moving from a general idea (often in a topic sentence) to specific details via explanations and evidence/examples. Finish paragraphs with a clincher or closing sentence.
Transition properly from paragraph to paragraph to achieve overall coherence.
Conclusion (one or two paragraphs)
Restate your thesis in a fresh manner.
Try to leave with a lasting impression for the reader by calling for action or reminding the reader of the cultural significance of your approach/thesis.
Consider commenting on other media forms if they relate to your discussion.
Seeking Feedback and Revising
Once you have completed a rough draft of your entire essay, you will submit it on Canvas a week before it�s due and workshop it with another student.
Editing and Proofreading
After you have revised for content, think about the details of writing correctness: sentence clarity, word choice, grammar and punctuation. Read Chapter 28, �Editing and Proofreading, 282-286, in NFGW. To help you address the sentence-level clarity and correctness of your writing, as well as the technicalities of MLA documentation and format, consider visiting the Learning Commons for a conference.
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