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 When you think about analysis, try thinking about how you might analyze a car.

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An analytical essay is a type of academic writing which separates out facts so the reader can understand them more easily, and discusses what these facts mean. It usually reaches a conclusion based on the discussion of the facts, and tries to persuade the reader to agree with that conclusion.

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A good analytical essay has to follow a few basic principles. Here they are:

It's very important when writing an analysis essay that your conclusion follows on naturally from the points you discuss in the main body of the essay. You should never discuss things in the conclusion that you haven't mentioned before. With some research, though, and a topic from the above list that you know something about, you can easily write a great essay.

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What are its most important qualities?

Or a poster may graphically represent the thinking processes used to arrive at an interpretation or conclusion. Here is an example of an inductive analysis, interpretation, or argument.

When you want to refute or counter the cons you may start with:

Posters can also effectively represent the common humanities move of offering a new way of thinking about a time period, text, idea, person, etc., often framed as filling in a gap in earlier explanations.

If you want to mark your total disagreement:

A poster could also illustrate responding to an earlier thought, such as correcting a misconception, refuting an argument, revising a theory, and the like.

Metaphor Map Instructions (Click to enlarge.)

It’s important to note that the poster is a conversation starter: it doesn’t have to present the project in its entirety. Instead, it can highlight part of the project, which the presenter uses to begin an oral explanation of the rest of the project.

Assessing Metaphor Maps (Click to enlarge.)

LePresident Emeritus of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has written of the importance of engaging with our teaching as we do our research–as “‘”: “We close the classroom doors and experience pedagogical solitude, whereas in our life as scholars, we are members of active communities: communities of conversation, communities of evaluation, communities in which we gather with others in our invisible colleges to exchange our findings, our methods, and our excuses” (2004, p. 140). What if we asked our students to do the same with their learning–as fellow citizens of the university, emerging scholars and researchers and producers of their own knowledge? In this model of making learning community property, the audience for student learning extends beyond the instructor and often even classmates–reaching out to a larger community that remains authentic to disciplinary and learning goals.

Each is further developed in the box to the right.

A significant genre in the humanities is the anthology, collections of poems, stories, essays, artwork, etc, selected, researched, and annotated by an editor. Students can take on this role of editor, acting as curator and commentator as they establish a sense of authority and ownership over the material (Chick, 2002). They make intentional decisions about which pieces to include, what contexts to provide in their editorial notes, and even what paper, binding, font, and illustrations to use. If the pieces are short enough, as in a poetry anthology, students can be required to write or type the pieces themselves “to engage with every letter, every punctuation mark, every capital or lower-case letter, and every line break, and to consider the meanings of these choices by the poet” (p. 420). They include a title page, table of contents, prologue, and epilogue framing their anthology.