The essential aims of an English paper:
When you learn to write in pursuit of an English degree - which means learning to assess and analyze textual material; consider the nuances and effects of phrasing; and express yourself coherently, persuasively, and elegantly - you develop broadly applicable and widely appreciated skills that can be translated to almost any endeavour. Consider entrepreneur Steve Strauss' 2013 column "Why I Hire English Majors:"
Close reading is central to literary analysis. What is a close reading? It’s something you do (conduct a close reading of a passage) and the product of that work (a close reading of Atwood’s “Death by Landscape”). Essentially, it is an argument or interpretation of a textual passage based on close attention to the particulars of the text, to its structure and formal patterns.
See our Guide to Close Reading for an introduction to the process; a discussion of the principal textual elements you might comment upon during a close reading; an annotated sample close reading of “The Dance” by William Carlos Williams; and links to further web resources on close reading.
What is a rhetorical analysis? How do you write one? To find answers to these questions, take a look at these useful guides and discussions:
You've been asked by your instructor to analyze a particular literary text. Where do you begin? What steps do you follow? What questions should you consider? The following guide will help you navigate your way through this common type of written assignment.
Students are often asked to conduct a critical analysis of a document from a particular perspective. The following guides will provide you with some questions you should ask yourself as you look critically at a document from a femist, marxist, postcolonial, or ecocentric point of view. These guides were created and submitted by Brad Congdon.