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English - Analysing Anthology Texts - Checklist

Command Word - Analyse a text:

Identify separate factors so that you can say how they are related and how each one relates to the topic.

Identify key factors to show how they are linked and explain the importance of each.

Your Objective:

To consider the following points in an analysis of a text:

1. The content – what is being said in the text.

2. The use of language – how language is used/how it is being said.

3. The effects created by the particular use of language.

4. Supporting your ideas – with specific references from the text.

5. Drawing conclusions about the effectiveness of the writing.


Approaching the textual analysis:


Stage One:

  • 1. Read the text through to get a general idea of what it is saying. You can *annotate.
  • 2. Re-read the text carefully, making notes of key points. You can use your highlighter pens.


Form & Text Type:

  Identify the form of the text (e.g. autobiography, letter, poem etc…)

  • What is the text about? – The content – what is being said in the text?


Stage Two:

 Now that you have established the content of the text, stage two is to think about purpose and audience.



  • Consider the purpose – what the writer wants to achieve
  • Comment on the purpose of the text and its suitability for audience



  Consider the audience – who is the text aimed at and who the writer intends to read it.

  • Identify the intended audience
  • Comment on narrative voice (1 st person, 2 nd person, 3 rd person)


Stage Three:

  • Having established the links between content, purpose and audience, the next stage is to look at how language is used to suit the particular audience and achieve the particular purpose. See Language, Style & Techniques checklist below. Consider the following notes first:

Adopt a logical approach to your analysis:

Think about:

Purpose – Audience – Content or What? Who? How?

  When commenting support your points with evidence from the text and comment on it.

This method of:

Point - Evidence - Comment can help you to avoid describing what the text is saying when you want to concentrate on how it is being said.

It is essential that you support the points you make with specific examples and evidence from the text, and also comment on the meaning or significance of the examples you have quoted.

Objective: to be aware of how ideas are communicated, or how language is used to create effects.


Language, Style & Techniques:

Investigate and comment on the following:

Comment on the way language has been used to express ideas and create effects.

  • Identify the way attitudes, values and emotions are communicated in each text.
  • Identify linguistic techniques (e.g. sibilance).
  • Identify parts of speech (e.g. nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs).
  • Identify: descriptive language, vocabulary, imagery, rhetorical techniques and repetition.
  • Identify colloquialisms (a phrase that is not meant literally but we know what is meant by the image created).
  • Characters and how they relate.
  • Identify and comment on the theme(s).
  • Tone (the writer’s attitude to a topic and the mood of a piece of writing).
  • Context (what or who influenced the writer, when the text was written, what society was like at the time the text was written, any political or social influences).
  • Summary.


Sentence Length:

  • Short – short, punchy sentences are used to keep the reader involved and/or
  • Long – long sentences are more likely to be used to describe an unfolding situation or can be used for academic writing.


Structure, Form & Layout:

Comment on visual layout and use of colour (where appropriate).

  • Identify the importance of the layout of each text.
  • Comment on: sub-headings, bullet-pointed lists and the order in which sections are placed.


Approaching Essays:

Select quotes appropriately.

  • Identify the need for open, analytical language.
  • Comment on the semantic field where appropriate (words that are used that relate to a specific profession, hobby or activity).
  • Write in style which demonstrates your skills of analysis.


Comparing Texts:

Compare the anthology texts to one another - create a table.

  • Compare all of the points from analysing a single anthology.

*Annotate : add explanatory notes to a book, document, piece of text…


Analysing Anthology Texts .PDF

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