Instructions How to Write

Text Analysis

The Format
● Mention the title of your ISU text early in the response Avoid redundancies in the response
● Be concise
● You may use first person, but the language must be academic
● You do not necessarily have to respond to all questions in each category. Some may be combined.
● Embed at least three quotations from the beginning, middle and end of the text
● DO NOT SUMMARIZE THE PLOT.
Character
● An analysis of the main character (attitude, philosophy, motivation)
● Relationship with others
● A character as a symbol or representation of an idea
● How the author develops characterization, or the revelation of character traits
● Does a character speak for the author? Reveal or represent themes?
● Does the character change as a result of the events in the text? How?
● Personal Connection: What does the text have to do with you personally?
Setting
● How is the theme developed through the use of setting(s)?
● What is the setting’s impact on character(s), their actions, attitudes, etc.?
● What is the setting’s impact on the struggles or conflicts that exist?
● Are aspects of the setting symbolic?
● Does the author use figurative language to help create the setting? Is it effective?
● Do recurring images run through the novel? Explain the purpose of each.
● Personal Connection: What is your overall reaction to the text in relation to setting?
Theme
● What is the central purpose of the story?
● Is the author making a moral statement?
● What is (s)he saying about life? How is the theme portrayed?
● Why did the author write this story? What message did (s)he want to express?
● How is the theme revealed through the other literary elements? Does the setting contribute to the theme?
Does the conflict involve a greater message that applies to the human condition?
● Personal Connection: What is your overall reaction to the text in relation to theme?
Mood
● A description of mood as it appears throughout the work or within a specific section of the work
● An analysis of how the author achieved this mood (setting, dialogue, humour, irony)
● An explanation of the impact of the mood on the work’s theme or on other literary elements
● Personal Connection: How much does the text agree or clash with your view of the world and what you
consider right and wrong?

Conflict
● What is the central conflict and what type of conflict is it (i.e. person vs. person)?
● What are the minor conflicts and how do they relate to the central plot?
● What events contribute to the working out of the conflict?
● Where does the climax occur? Is it effective?
● What does the resolution of the conflict reveal about the author’s main messages or themes?
● What is the incident that triggers the conflict?
● Personal Connection: How well does the text address things that you care about and consider important
in the world?

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