Commentary Analysis Skills

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Introduction to literary Theory[edit]

Literary theory has passed through many phases. As society, ideology and knowledge has changed so has the approach to analyzing a text. This section will give you an overview of some of the approaches you can take when reading a text.

Reading - literary analysis and theory

Assignment: Take one extract of text (approximately 40 lines) and analyse it with each of the following approaches:

  • Formalism
  • Psychoanalysis
  • New Criticism and Reader Response Theory
  • Structuralism
  • Postcolonialism
  • Feminism

Additional Reading:

Literary Commentary Analysis[edit]

Additional Reading:

Analysing Non-Fiction[edit]

Newspapers, adverts, speeches, instruction manuals, all share the common feature of non-fiction texts. They have a clearly designed and intentional structure and style which they use to convey their message. When we study these texts we need to analyse both style and content in relation to purpose. As with fiction texts, we study the genre, audience, structure and purpose of the text, however we also need to question the reliability. Some questions we might ask are:

  1. How does the text argue its points?
  2. What kind of evidence is used?
  3. What questions does it raise?
  4. What conclusions does it reach?
  5. What reasons do we have for trusting it?

Non-Fiction Commentary Analysis[edit]

Essay Writing Skills[edit]

See also[edit]