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In this short course, students learn to write a textual analysis. A textual analysis is a type of essay that middle, high school and college students are often asked to write. Whenever a student is told to write a review on someone else’s work, that is a textual analysis essay. For example, book reviews, movie reviews, and product reviews are examples of textual analysis essays.
The textual analysis short course is very helpful to students' education because it makes them practice their critical thinking skills in depth and share those thoughts in organized, multi-paragraph written form. Not only are students taught to make objective observations, but they’re also taught to support their observations with clear and specific examples. The textual analysis essay short course teaches students to construct well thought out, well supported arguments. The ability to do this quickly and easily in an important skill that will serve them well in their future endeavors. Additionally, kids are trained in a 5-step writing process that they can apply to any writing project they face in the future.
Completion of this course will equal .125 credits in high school English. Please see our article on Evaluation of High School Credits for more information.
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Please note that this short course is one of the four units that comprise our full Essay Rock Star program available for $197.
Lessons Course Introduction, Rubrics, and Pre-Assessment
First we introduce you to the course, then we explain how we review student work using rubrics. Finally, we ask you to send us a a writing sample. The writing sample or pre-assessment serves to let your instructor get familiar with your writing style and current skills before you begin the course. Videos with tips to approach each step in the writing process are on the lesson pages, and links to audios of all the lessons and resource articles are available too. Not only that, but whenever you click over to a resource article, you'll find pdfs available for you to download. Finally, this lesson includes a link to download and keep the rubric as well as samples of personal statement essays completed at both the proficiency and mastery levels. By the end of this section, you will have a very clear idea of what we seek from you, and we'll know where your writing skills are before you begin.
Purpose and Description, Brainstorming
Here we introduce you to the textual analysis essay. In the Purpose and Description we explain why we chose this type of essay for a short course. Then we guide you to through the first of our five-step writing process, brainstorming. We work with you to generate lots of content ideas for your essay. Samples of student work are available for your review at each step of the writing process. In a textual analysis, you're required to analyze another author's work and determine two things: 1) the purpose of that author's work and 2) if that author achieved that purpose. This requires a lot of critical thinking, and in this essay you are guided through the critical thinking you'll need to do to write a successful textual analysis. By the end of this essay, your confidence level will soar as you know how and are able to respond to textual analysis assignments you'll often see at the college level and beyond.
Now that you've generated lots content ideas in brainstorming, it's time to move on to the second step of our writing process, organizing ideas. In the textual analysis, this second step of our five step writing process is quite easy. All you have to do is follow the structure of the textual analysis content worksheet you completed while brainstorming in the last lesson. In this lesson you'll also choose one of two approaches you can take to organizing your textual analysis: thematically, or part-by-part. Don't worry, the lesson explains it all.
Now at the third of our five step writing process, we begin our first draft. We call this step free writing because we want you to follow the order of ideas in your outline and write freely and completely about each of them. No attention to grammar, spelling or mechanics is given in this first draft. The focus in this step is to express and explain your main ideas and their supporting details in your own unique way from your unique perspective. It's your voice we want to hear.
In revision, step four of our five step writing process, we make structural revisions to your essay. We make sure each paragraph has a clear topic sentence and that the supporting details transition smoothly from one to the other. There also must be a smooth flow from paragraph to paragraph. Then you're instructed on how to create a thesis statement, introduction and conclusion for your essay. Here you'll start to see links to even more of our resource articles as we make sure your essay has a strong, solid structure.
Here we also give you a brief lesson on writing a bibliography if you used outside sources. Sometimes in a textual analysis essay, you need to do some research on the author whose work you're analyzing to better understand their purpose. If that's the case, we guide you through that process carefully. In the future you'll have to write in depth research papers, so it's helpful to get a little experience doing research for a paper now. A recorded research article on writing a bibliography is attached.
Now we're on the fifth and final step of our writing process, editing. This lesson is quite long, as we go into descriptions of all the detail work you'll have to do to finish your essay. Transitions, sentence structure, mechanics, vocabulary, subject verb agreement, word choice and more are covered in this lesson. Your instructor won't correct your paper for you in this last step, but she or he will guide you to make those corrections yourself. This way, we train you to become independent on this final, yet extremely important, step when you face writing projects on your own in the future.
In this final lesson, we review what students have learned, provide a certificate of completion to add to their high school transcript records, and ask for a course evaluation.